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Hubert Robert (Paris 1733-1808)
Hubert Robert (Paris 1733-1808)

A boy climbing a tree with a woman and a girl looking on

Details
Hubert Robert (Paris 1733-1808)
A boy climbing a tree with a woman and a girl looking on
red chalk
14 ¼ x 11 ½ in. (36 x 39 cm)
Provenance
Collection Destombe; Hôtel Galliéra, Paris, 11 June 1971, lot 22.
with H. Shickman, New York.
Christian Humann, New York; Sotheby’s, New York, 30 April 1982, lot 76.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, New York, 25 January 2012, lot 118.
Literature
S. Catala, Les Hubert Robert de Besançon, Besançon 2013, p. 204, under no. 176.
Sale Room Notice
This Lot is Withdrawn.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

This sheet, known as Le Pique-nique, shows a young boy climbing a tree under the eyes of a young woman and a little girl. A counterproof exists at the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Besançon (inv. D.2977; Catala, op.cit., no. 176, ill.). A further autograph version in black chalk is signed and dated 1782 and follows the general composition, with the tree and the wooden plank in the foreground (Sotheby’s, Monaco, 22 June 1986, lot 48). The group of the two girls was also used by the artist, in reverse, at lower left in the painting The return of the cattle, owned by Jean-François Bergeret de Frouville and exhibited at the Salon in 1775, now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (fig. 1; inv. 35.40.1).

The drawing and the related works demonstrate Robert’s working method, which allowed him to satisfy the growing demand from collectors by producing counterproofs, while also building a repertoire of motifs that he would reuse at various stages of his career. Sarah Catala (op. cit) dates the present sheet to the 1780s.

Fig. 1. Hubert Robert, The return of the cattle, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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