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Hubert Robert

1733–1808, Paris

Hubert Robert originally trained as a clergyman but, having opted for an artistic career, was taught in Paris by the sculptor and architect, Michelange Slodtz. Instead of undergoing the usual programme of academic training in his native city, Robert went to Rome in 1753 as a protegé of the Comte de Stainville. He remained there until 1765 living as a pensionnaire at the Académie de France and taking lessons. During that time the artist was greatly inspired by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, a painter of ruins and architecture, and by his encounter with Giovanni Battista Piranesi. No less significant was the company he kept with his fellow Frenchmen, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and the Abbé de Saint-Non, whom Robert accompanied on a journey to Naples in 1760.