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Western art

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An extensive landscape near Paris



Hubert Robert

France, Italy

22 May 1733 - 15 Apr 1808


Hubert Robert is one of the quiet voices of French painting. In his youth he worked and studied with Fragonard, a louder talent by comparison, as both artists mastered the subtleties of a shared rococo style. In 1761 they travelled together to southern Italy, the wellspring of Robert's essentially classicising project. Italian view-painters such as Panini and Piranesi authorised his attraction to ancient sites and antiquarian subjects, alerting him to the enduring possibilities of the fragmentary tradition. Even in his native France, Robert's landscapes are unmistakably classical in tenor. The Roman Campagna insinuates itself into this otherwise descriptive scene of the countryside near Paris. Though it lacks anything so imposing as architectural ruins or sculptural wreckage, one senses a powerful note of nostalgia in the work. Even so, few views by Robert are as uncomplicated or as fresh as this, the airiness of the scene prefiguring nineteenth-century innovations in French landscape painting. The artist shown at work on the left is conceivably Robert himself.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.




Media category


Materials used

oil on oak panel


61.2 x 72.8 x 1.0 cm panel; 76.7 x 88.5 x 4.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., oil "H. Robert/ 1781".


Gift of James Fairfax AC 1995

Accession number


Artist information

Hubert Robert

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact


Private Collection, France, sold Hotel Drouot, 16 December 1987, lot no. 61

Colnaghi U.S.A., 16 Dec 1987-25 Oct 1988, New York/New York/United States of America, Sold to James Fairfax, 25 October 1988. Purchased by Colnaghi at Hotel Drouot, 16 December 1987, lot no. 61

James Oswald Fairfax AC, 25 Oct 1988-22 Jun 1995, Bowral/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of James Fairfax 1995. Purchased by James Fairfax from Colnaghi, New York, 25 October 1988.

Referenced in 6 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1995, Sydney, 1995, 56.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Sydney, 1992. no catalogue numbers

Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis, The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Sydney, 2003, 152 (colour illus.), 153-4, 155 (colour illus.). 44, illustration on page 155 is a detail

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 32 (colour illus.).

Alan Wintermute (Editor), Claude to Corot: the development of landscape painting in France, New York, 1990, cover (colour illus.), 215-7, 216 (colour illus.). 45

‘Chronique des Arts’, suppl to Gazette des Beaux-Arts, period 6, vol 127, year 138, nos 1528–29, 'Chronique des Arts' suppliment, Paris, Mar 1996, 42 (illus.). no. 166