Lot 54
  • 54

Hubert Robert

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Hubert Robert
  • The Teatro delle Acque in the garden of the Villa Aldobrandini
  • oil on canvas
  • 17 x 27 inches


Camille Groult; 
His sale, Paris, Galerie George Petit, 21-22 June 1920, lot 101;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 13 December 2000, lot 60;
There purchased by the present collector.


Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Six Centuries of Landscape, 1952, no. 38;
London, Wildenstein, Important Paintings of the French XVIII Century, 1956, no. 18;
London, Royal Academy, France in the Eighteenth Century, 1968, p. 111, no. 584, p. 30, fig. 15;
New York, Didier Aaron, Hubert Robert, Paintings and Drawings, 7 May 2008–13 June 2008.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. It is recommended that this painting be hung in its current condition. The lining is old but attractive, showing only slightly raised horizontal stretcher bar marks on either side of the fountain. The paint layer has become thin over time, particularly in the shadows and softer colors of the landscape and in the sky. Small and very accurate retouches have been applied to eliminate the weakness throughout these areas. The picture looks very fresh and is well restored.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Situated in the town of Frascati, the Villa Aldobrandini lies approximately twelve miles south-east of Rome, at the foot of the Alban Hills. During the Sei and Settecento the town became a popular resort of villeggiatura (country living for urban Romans), emulating the famous Roman villas which had existed at the nearby town of Tusculum at the end of the Roman Republic.

The original style of the villa, dominated by the more modest Villa Contugi, was inherited by Pope Clement VIII in 1598, who bequeathed it to his nephew and secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini (1572-1621). In 1601 Aldobrandini commissioned a design from the leading Roman architect of the period, Giacomo della Porta (1532-1602), for its reconstruction, which was completed soon after the architect’s death in 1602, under the supervision of Carlo Maderno.

The grandiose style of the villa, with the elegant façade, surmounted by the monumental broken pediment, and framed from behind by a series of over sized ramps, made Villa Aldobrandini one of the most important inspirations for 17th- century baroque villas. The focal point and greatest achievement of della Porta's design (though ultimately carried out by Maderno just after 1602) was the grand Teatro delle Acqueso called for the niche sculptures which frame the fountain and which were designed by Giovanni Gugliemi featuring a hydraulic delivery system. The torrent from which which came together cascaded down the hillside, passing through the central arch of the structure and into a central basin at its foot.