Pen and black ink, brush and gray and brown wash, pale rose watercolor and white heightening over black chalk.
19 1/16 x 23 1/8 in. (48.4 x 58.8 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Not on view
The painter and draftsman Hubert Robert, who spent eleven years in Rome (1754-65) studying at the French Academy, is known for his picturesque capriccios - views of the city combining real and imaginary ancient monuments. This capriccio features the famous ancient bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. Robert rendered the statue accurately, but its crumbling stone pedestal and its inscription, altered to include his own name, are inventions. The statue is surrounded by an arcade reminiscent of Bernini’s colonnade for the piazza of Saint Peter’s, which is modified in detail and proportion by architectural elements from the Pantheon. Robert has surrounded the statue with an animal skull, bones, and fragments of architectural ruins, an allusion to the past glory of the Roman Empire.
Inscription: Inscribed on the base of the statue: IMPE CAESARI DIV / ANTONINI.../ HADRIANI...ROBERT FECIT
J.B. Glomy, Paris (Lugt Suppl. 1085 at the lower center of the mount); Charles Molinier, Toulouse (Lugt Suppl. 2917 at the lower right on the recto); sale, C.A. Mincieux, Geneva, [1920's], lot 89; Paul Chevalier, Paris; Chevalier sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 20 March 1956, lot 36.
Artist: Hubert Robert (French, Paris 1733–1808 Paris)Date: ca. 1773Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brush and brown, gray, and blue washes, over a red chalk counterproofAccession: 59.23.70On view in:Not on view