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The Obelisk

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Hubert Robert
French, 1733-1808

About this artwork

This painting is one of four depictions of architectural fantasies by Hubert Robert commissioned by the Marquis de Laborde for his elegant country estate at Méréville, south of Paris. It features a grandiose vaulted space that frames an obelisk, with a peristyle, or colonnade, closing off the distance. Through years of study in Italy, Robert absorbed the vocabulary of Classical architecture and sculpture into his own imaginative language. Here, the female figure in the central niche is based on a first-century sculpture that the artist would have seen during his stay in Rome.


On View, Gallery 218


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Hubert Robert


The Obelisk


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


H. ROBERT / 1787 (lower left, beneath column), and H ROBERT / [...] / [...] / Le[...} / MEREVILLE / DE LABORDE / [...] (lower right of center, on a stone held by a man)


255.6 × 223.5 cm (100 7/8 × 88 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Clarence Buckingham

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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