The Spirit of the Tomb

The Spirit of the Tomb
HUBERT ROBERT (1733-1808)
Paris, 1795
oil on oak panel
In this allegorical picture, a young woman is meditating on an antique sarcophagus with a spirit hovering over her. The Pyramid of Cestius (the tomb of Gaius Cestius, Rome, 12 BC) shows Hubert Robert’s fondness for ancient Roman monuments - he stayed in the Eternal City for eleven years.
Hubert Robert principally painted ruins and was elected to the Académie as an architecture painter on 26 July 1766. He was appointed “Designer of the King’s Gardens,” “Keeper of the King’s Pictures” and was also one of the first curators of the Museum, the future Musée du Louvre.
inv. PE 56

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ÉMILE PEYRE bequest, 1905