Collection of Baron Adolph Bentinck and Baroness Gabrielle Bentinck-Thyssen, until 1995;
Their sale, London, Sotheby's, 6 December 1995, lot 76;
Where purchased by the present collector.
Bern, Bernisches Historisches Museum, 24 Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei aus der Sammlung Stiftung Schloß Rohoncz. Leihgabe der Baronin Gabrielle Bentinck-Thyssen, Summer 1960, no. 8;
Paris, Institut Néerlandais, Choix de la collection Bentinck, 20 May - 28 June 1970, no. 49;
Dusseldorf, Kunstmuseum, Die Sammlung Bentinck-Thyssen, 23 October 1970 - 3 January 1971, no. 43;
Lausanne, La Fondation de l'Hermitage; Paris, Musée Marmottan; Tokyo, Kumamoto-Toyama-Miyagi; Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Luxemburg, Musée de l'Etat, La Collection Bentinck-Thyssen: De Brueghel à Guardi, 1986-87, no. 52.
R. Heinemann, Collection Schloß Rohoncz, Zurich 1937, vol. I, no. 354, vol. II, reproduced plate 272.
Paintings such as this, with the romanticized peasant outposts, monumental architecture, and warm afternoon light, are inconceivable without Robert's long stay in Rome from 1754-65. Robert arrived in Rome among the entourage of the French Ambassador to the Holy See, the Comte de Stainville. He continued to be supported from the highest levels during his sojourn, not least by the Marquis de Marigny, Mme. de Pompadour's brother, and the Duc de Choiseul, made French Foreign Minister in 1758, who was his protector. During his eleven years in Rome Robert produced countless architectural sketches in the Roman campagna, many of which reference specific sites, though this soaring building appears to be fantastical, and highly romantic in nature.
Prior to its acquisition by the present owner (see Provenance), this picture formed part of the illustrious Bentinck-Thyssen collection. Baroness Gabrielle Thyssen-Bentinck, who inherited a large group of paintings from her late father, the legendary collector Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, married the Dutch diplomat Baron Adolph Bentinck van Schoonheten. Together with her inheritance, the Baron and Baroness continued her late father's legacy in amassing an impressive collection of French, Dutch and early Flemish pictures. This charming work by Robert was included in their single owner sale at Sotheby's London on 6 December 1995.
When last sold, it was noted that the present picture would be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Hubert Robert, to be published by the Wildenstein Institute.
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