Lovers on a Balcony: A View towards a Village, with the Temple at Paestum
(Hubert Robert)


Hubert Robert

Lovers on a Balcony: A View towards a Village, with the Temple at Paestum dates from the 1780s and, unusually, combines a northern French village and topography with a view of a Greek temple based on that at Paestum or perhaps even the Maison Carré at Nîmes; the two united in a pastoral landscape with a wooded alley to the right, the whole overlooked by an ornate balustrade. Cattle and sheep graze placidly among the ornamental shrubs and conifers in a classical reference to Claude Lorraine. The foreground figures are of particularly high quality, the young woman gazing at her lover seemingly unaware of the incongruity of the scene beyond which he indicates with his right hand. The figure to the left seems much more startled by the appearance of such a grandiose temple in these unlikely surroundings as if to bring a touch of humour to the innocence of this rural romance. The lightly scudding clouds across a blue sky, the freshness of the palette, and scale of the figures introduces the charm of Boucher’s pastorals with Robert’s architectural fantasies. Although Robert’s views of the Italian countryside are quite common, his views of the French countryside or of France are rather rare and include some Parisian monuments, a series of paintings done for Mme. Geoffrin, an imaginary view of the Louvre and, at a later point in his career, a series of views of châteaux which were often commissioned by their proprietors.

32 by 24 1/2 in. 63 by 80 cm.
Oil on canvas

Matthiesen Gallery & Stair Sainty Matthiesen, ‘The Settecento’, 1998

Where is It?
Matthiesen Gallery
Historical Period
Rococo - 1720-1780
Capriccio: Architecture
Price band
$150,000 - $250,000