About This Artwork

Hubert Robert
French, 1733-1808

The Old Temple, 1787/88

Oil on canvas
255 x 223.2 cm (100 3/8 x 87 7/8 in.)

Gift of Adolphus C. Bartlett, 1900.382

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, June–November 1, 1934, no. 333.

Art Institute of Chicago, Selected Works of Eighteenth-Century French Art in the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, January 28–April 25, 1976, no.14a.

Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, "Hubert Robert," June 26 - October 2, 2016, pp. 164-169, 240-241, cat. 76, (ill. p. 167), exhibition catalogue by Margaret Morgan Grasselli and Yuriko Jackall, et. al.

Publication History

C. Gabillot, Hubert Robert et son temps (Paris, 1892), p. 168.

“La Chronique des arts et de la curiosité,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 3rd ser., 24, suppl. no. 26 (1900), p. 267.

Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Objects in the Museum (Chicago, 1901), p. 212, no. 428.

Alice V. Clarke, “Old World Treasures in Chicago,” Brush and Pencil 9, 2 (1901), p. 79.

“Art News,” New York Times (October 12, 1901), p. 9.

Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Objects in the Museum (Chicago, 1904), p. 210, no. 428.

Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Sculpture, Paintings and Other Objects (Chicago, 1907), p. 220, no. 428.

Armand Dayot, “Le Centenaire d’Hubert-Robert,” L’Art et les Artistes 7 (1908), p. 204.

Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Sculpture, Paintings, and Other Objects (Chicago, 1910), p. 197, no. 428.

Pierre de Nolhac, Hubert Robert, 1733–1808 (Paris, 1910), pp. 58, 153, no. 2.

Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Paintings, Sculpture and Other Objects in the Museum (Chicago, 1913), p. 139, no. 428, ill.

Tristan Leclère, Hubert Robert et Les Paysagistes français du XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1913), p. 92.

Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Paintings, Sculpture and Other Objects in the Museum (Chicago, 1914), p. 145, no. 428.

Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture and Architecture (Chicago, 1917), p. 142, no. 350.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings, and Drawings (Chicago, 1920), p. 37, no. 350.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture and Paintings (Chicago, 1922), p. 38, no. 350.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings (Chicago, 1923), p. 38, no. 350.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1925), pp. 45, 151, no. 350.

[Pierre] Paul-Sentenac, Hubert Robert (Paris, 1929), pp. 52–53.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1932), pp. 41, 169.

Musée de L’Orangerie, Exposition Hubert Robert, 1733–1808, exh. cat. (Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, 1933), p. 71, under no. 82.

Daniel Catton Rich, “The Paintings of Martin A. Ryerson,” Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 27, 1 (1933), p. 4.

R. Graul in Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 28 (Leipzig, 1934), p. 420.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1935), p. 27.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1941), p. 32.

George Isarlo, “Hubert Robert,” Connassiance des arts no. 18 (1953), p. 32, under no. 35, fig. 9.

E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 2d ed., vol. 7 (Paris, 1954), p. 276.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), pp. 401–02.

Ferdinand Boyer, “Les collections et les ventes de Jean-Joseph de Laborde,” Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de l’art français, année 1961 (1962), p. 147.

Hubert Burda, Die Ruine in den Bildern Hubert Robert (Munich, 1967), pp. 44, 67, 97, 99, fig. 131.

Olivier Choppin de Janvry, “Méréville,” L’Oeil no. 180 (1969), p. 83.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1970), pp. 15, 62.

Annette Vaillant, Le pain polka (Paris, 1974), p. 69.

Marianne Roland-Michel, in Piranèse et les français, 1740–1790, exh. cat. (Villa Medici, Rome, 1976), p. 321, under no. 181.

André Corboz, Peinture militante et architecture révolutionnaire: A propos du thème du tunnel chez Hubert Robert (Basel and Stuttgart, 1978), pp. 15–17, fig. 12.

Sotheby’s, London, Important Old Master Paintings, sale cat. (July 8, 1981), n. pag., under lot 95.

Sotheby’s, London, Important Old Master Paintings, sale cat. (June 23, 1982), n. pag., under lot 30.

Annie Scottez, in Autour de David: Dessins néo-classiques du Musée de Beaux-Arts de Lille, exh. cat. (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille, 1983), pp. 193, under no. 144.

Ellis Waterhouse, “Earlier Paintings in the Earlier Years of the Art Institute of Chicago: The Role of the Private Collectors,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 10 (1983), pp. 86, 91 n.11.

George Bernier, in Hubert Robert: The Pleasure of Ruins, exh. cat. (Wildenstein, New York, 1988), p. 88.

John D. Bandiera, “Form and Meaning in Hubert Robert’s Ruin Caprices: Four Paintings of Fictive Ruins for the Château du Méréville,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 15, 1 (1989), pp. 21–37, 82–85, fig. 1.

Jean de Cayeux, “Des amateurs compromettants,” in Catherine Boulot, Jean de Cayeux, and Hélène Moulin, Hubert Robert et la Révolution, exh. cat. (Musée de Valence, 1989), p. 12.

Jean de Cayeux with Catherine Boulot, Hubert Robert (Paris, 1989), pp. 153, 158, 162–64, 262.

Günter Herzog, Hubert Robert und das Bild im Garten (Worms, 1989), pp. 105, 222 nn. 333, 335–37.

Jutta Held, Monument und Volk: Vorrevolutionäre Wahrnehmung in Bildern des ausgehenden Ancien Régime (Cologne, 1990), p. 312, 314, 318–20 fig. 148.

Christopher Wright, The World’s Master Paintings: From the Early Renaissance to the Present Day (London and New York, 1991), vol. 1, pp. 458; vol. 2, 62, 600.

Joseph Baillio, “Hubert Robert’s Decorations for the Château de Bagatelle,” Metropolitan Museum Journal 27 (Essays in Memory of Guy C. Bauman) (1992), pp. 149, 176, 179 n. 1.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago: The Essential Guide (Chicago, 1993), p. 140; reprinted (Chicago, 2003); rev. ed. (Chicago, 2009); (Chicago, 2013).

Jean de Cayeux, in Cara D. Denison, Myra Nan Rosenfeld, and Stephanie Wiles, Exploring Rome: Piranesi and His Contemporaries, exh. cat. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, and Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 1993), p. 186, under no. 105, fig. 2.

Gloria Groom, Edouard Vuillard: Painter-Decorator (New Haven and London, 1993), p. 124.

“From the Archives: Photographs of The Art Institute of Chicago, 1893–1933,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 19, 1 (1993), p. 22, ill.

Paula Rea Radisich, “‘La chose publique’: Hubert Robert’s decorations for the ‘petit salon’ at Méréville,” in Ann Bermingham and John Brewer, The Consumption of Culture, 1600–1800 (London and New York, 1995), pp. 408–411, 412 n. 7, 413 n. 20, fig. 21.2.

Sophie Raux, Catalogue des dessins français du XVIIIe siècle de Claude Gillot à Hubert Robert: Palais des beaux-arts, Lille (Lillie, 1995), pp. 180–1, under no. 69, fig. 69c.

Susan Wise, in Susan Wise and Malcolm Warner, French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800 in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1996), p. 127–136, ill.

Victor Carlson, “Hubert Robert in Rome: Some Pen-and-Wash Drawings,” Master Drawings 39, 3 (2001), pp. 291, 299 n.5.

Larry Feinberg, “A Brief History of the Old Masters in the Art Institute of Chicago,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 32, 2 (2006), pp. 8, 10.

Lola Kantor-Kazovsky, “Displeasure of Ruins: Piranesi and the Monuments of Ancient Rome,” Apollo 166, 546 (2007), p. 49, 50, fig. 5.

Elisabeth Oy-Marra, “‘Ipsa ruina docet’: Die Ruine als Bildfigur der Erinnerung und kritischer Reflexion bei Hubert Robert,” Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz 52, 1 (2008), pp. 102, 106, fig. 10.

Nick Yablon, Untimely Ruins: An Archeology of American Urban Modernity, 1819–1919 (Chicago, 2009), pp. 24–25, fig. 1.3.

Ownership History

Commissioned with its pendants (1900.383, 1900.384, 1900.385) by Jean Joseph, marquis de Laborde (died 1794), in 1787 for the Château de Méréville (near Etampes); the château was sold by Mme de Laborde, 1819 [see Simone de Lassus, “Quelques Détails inédits sur Méréville,” Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de l’art français, année 1976 (1978), p. 286 n. 1]; the château was owned successively by: M. Ters and Mme d’Espagnat (sold 1824); comte de Saint-Roman (sold 1866); duc de Sessa (sold 1868); M. and Mme Beleys (sold 1869); la Société Cail (sold 1874); M. Heddle (sold 1889); Adam Natanson (sold 1890); M. Hériot (sold 1896); Prudent Carpentier (sold 1897, at which time the contents of the house were dispersed and the paintings probably sold) [See Simone de Lassus 1978, cited above; a letter from Bernard Binvel to Susan Wise dated May 5, 1987 states, perhaps erroneously, that Hériot sold the paintings in July of 1896]. M. L. François; sold Galerie George Petit, Paris, June 13, 1900, no. 2, to Durand-Ruel, acting on behalf of the Art Institute, with funds provided by Adolphus C. Bartlett, 1900.




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