Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bridge over a Cascade

Artist:
Hubert Robert (French, Paris 1733–1808 Paris)
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
32 x 54 1/8 in. (81.3 x 137.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906
Accession Number:
07.225.264a
Not on view
This overdoor is one of a pair; its pendant, of almost exactly the same dimensions, is Aqueduct in Ruins (07.225.264b). The two were perhaps acquired by David Étienne Rouillé de l'Étang for the great house that he remodeled at 6, place Louis XV, later place de la Concorde, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.
This overdoor is one of a pair; its pendant, of almost exactly the same dimensions, is Aqueduct in Ruins (07.225.264b). The two may have formed part of a much larger ensemble that included a pair of smaller overdoors and five upright canvases varying in height from eighty-three to 233 centimeters. All were perhaps acquired by David Étienne Rouillé de l'Étang for the great house that he remodeled at 6, place Louis XV, later place de la Concorde, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The house and collection passed by descent to Marie Jeanne Louise Thérèse de Pastoret (1814–1890), who married the marquis du Plessis-Bellière and in 1870 removed the Roberts to the château de Moreuil. They were sold in 1897; one belongs to the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Here the ancient bridge over the dam seems to be in use and in fairly good repair. In the foreground one peasant leans on the back of a white horse while another kneels to cut reeds in the shallow water.

[Katharine Baetjer 2011]
David Étienne Rouillé de l'Étang, 6, place Louis XV, Paris (until d. 1811); his niece, Adélaïde Anne Louise Piscatory, marquise de Pastoret, Paris (1811–d. 1843); Amédée David de Pastoret, marquis de Pastoret, Paris (1843–d. 1857); Marie Jeanne Louise Thérèse de Pastoret, marquise du Plessis-Bellière, Paris, later (from 1870) château de Moreuil, Somme (1857–d. 1890; her estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 10–11, 1897, no. 72, for Fr 2000); [Georges Hoentschel, Paris, until 1906; sold to Morgan]; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (1906)
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013, no. 124.

Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8–May 9, 2013, no. 124.

Collection de Mme la Marquise du Plessis-Bellière. Hôtel Drouot, Paris. May 10–11, 1897, pp. III–V, 23, no. 72, states that in 1776 Mme Rouillé de l'Étang and her son built a hôtel on place Louis XV and commissioned Hubert Robert to decorate it (the pictures are nos. 71–83 in this catalogue).

Pierre de Nolhac. Hubert Robert, 1733–1808. Paris, 1910, p. 151, mentions the sale of the marquise du Plessis-Bellière at which this picture fetched two thousand francs.

Charles Sterling. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. Vol. 1, XV–XVIII Centuries. Cambridge, Mass., 1955, p. 170, ill.

Nicole Hoentschel et al. Georges Hoentschel. Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 1999, ill. pp. 195, 198 (gallery installations), reproduces photographs of it hanging in Hoentschel's gallery on Boulevard Flandrin.

Peter Barnet and Wendy A. Stein in Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, ill. pp. 35, 193 (color).

Katharine Baetjer in Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, p. 260, no. 124, ill. [Chinese ed., Hefei Shi, 2013, pp. 274–75, no. 124, ill. (color)].



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