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The Temple of Filial Piety, Viewed from a Rustic Bridge in the Park of Méréville

Hubert Robert

(1733 - 1808) | 907.1.69

| Medium : Oil on canvas

Hubert Robert was a painter driven by his love of Antiquity. He roamed across Italy ceaselessly sketching picturesque scenes strewn with ruins where people amused themselves among the vestiges of antique monuments in an atmosphere steeped in Pre-Romanticism. He readily brought together various scattered elements in an image where the impression he aimed to evoke took precedence over concerns of topographical accuracy. Here the tempietto recreated in the park of Méréville took its inspiration from the Temple of the Sybil in Rome.

The park, located in the Juine valley (Essonne), became the property of the banker Jean-Joseph de Laborde in 1784 who undertook its redesign according to the instructions of Hubert Robert. At the end of the 18th century it was considered to be one of most beautiful gardens in Europe. Châteaubriand, who stayed there several times with his wife, wrote of it, ‘Méréville was an oasis created by the smile of a Muse, but one of those Muses that Gallic poets call “learned fairies”.’