Hubert Robert is a landscape painter who specialized in architecture and gardens. He would often combine ancient and modern architectural elements in the same painting creating fantastic and imaginary settings. His work anticipates the Romantic movement with his emotional responses to the landscape.
Robert studied drawing with the sculptor René-Michel Slodtz. He traveled to Italy with his protector the Comte de Stainville, who arranged and financed his studies at the French Academy in Rome, even though he had not studied previously at the Academy in Paris. He would spend the next 11 years in Italy, where he was inspired by the architecture, ruins and the landscape. Garden of an Italian Villa is an example of this kind of work. He returned to Paris with an inventory of drawings that would be a source for his subsequent paintings. He became an associate and a full member at the Royal Academy in 1766.
Robert was also capable of great accuracy in his depictions of the construction and demolition of parts of Paris. He was appointed Designer of the King’s gardens as well as museum curator, even making sketches for the remodeled galleries of the Louvre. Popular in France, his work was also collected in Russia by the Empress Catherine II and other Russian patrons.