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ID number:  BIRBI-2007.1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Robert, Hubert (1733-1808)
Title / Object name:  Study of a Tree with a Figure
Object type:  Drawing
Place made:  Paris
Culture:  French
Date made:  about 1780
Materials:  Red chalk, over squaring in black chalk, on paper
Measurements:  385 x 524 mm; mount: 690 x 796 mm
Provenance:  Jules-Alexandre Duval le Camus (1814-1878), Paris (L.1441); E. Calando, Paris (L.837); Christie's Sale, London, 10 July 2001 (lot 114); purchased by Day & Faber, London, (173); purchased by the Barber Institute, 24 July 2007.

Robert was a garden designer, as well as a painter and trees formed an important part of his landscape subjects. He was also a prolific draughtsman, invariably using red chalk, a medium he used with enormous subtlety. Many of Robert’s drawings were finished compositions made in the studio and sold directly to collectors. This study of an ancient, blasted tree, however, may have been made from nature. Certainly, the fact that it is squared up in black chalk - to help with the process of transferring the image - suggests that it was used as preparatory material for a finished work.

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Robert, Hubert
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