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  • Hubert Robert - Les jardins du Temps
  • Tuesday 6 March – Sunday 20 May 2012
  • Venue:Special Exhibition Galleries, NMWA

    Organized by:The National Museum of Western Art,The Tokyo Shimbun

    In academic cooperation with :Musée de Valence
    Musée de Valence

    With support of:Ambassade de France au Japon

    In cooperation with :Air France, Institut franco-japonais de Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation

In 18th century Europe, enthralled by the discoveries at the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Hubert Robert (1733 - 1808) was a French landscape painter became known later by the nickname Robert des ruines, Robert of the Ruins, for his many works on these ancient sites. During his studies in Italy, Robert depicted fascinating landscapes that incorporated ancient motifs enhanced by his own fanciful imagination. His images brought to life the architecture and sculpture of ancient times, contrasting with the scenes of trees, flowing streams and the lively everyday world of ordinary people. These images developed in an age newly fascinated with antiquity. Robert's arts with their uniquely lyrical expression attracted a great number of people, inspiring dreams of the flow of time, nature and the power of the arts.

The painter of these fantastic scenes was also the creator of numerous famous landscape-style garden designs, under his title of Designer of the Royal Gardens. Robert's placement of ancient architectural forms and man-made waterfalls and grottoes amidst actual scenery adds all the more fascination to his works. This exhibition focuses on about 80 drawings in red chalk, selected from the world-renowned Robert Collection of the Musée de Valence, as it introduces Japanese audiences to Robert's oeuvre, dating from his earliest production to his final years. Works by Robert's teachers and colleagues, including Piranesi and Fragonard, from other collections round out the display of approximately 130 oil paintings, drawings, prints and furnishings.

The natural and the man-made, fiction and fact, and the jumbled memories of happiness and imaginary futures, all present the secrets of arcadia, as created in the midst of this artist's paintings and gardens. 

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