price: U.S. $4,500


1733 Paris 1808

View of Waterfalls in a Rocky Landscape

91/8 x 71/8" (230 x 180mm). watermark (sheaf) off edge of paper.

Martine, Comtesse de Behague;
Marquis de Ganay, by descent;
Sotheby's, Monaco, Dec 1, 1989, lot 50
Sotheby's, London, July 5, 2000, lot 104.

This study was page 67 of a sketchbook used mostly during Robert's last years in Rome, circa 1762-1765. Once back in Paris, such sketches informed the artist's prodigious output of landscape paintings. Somewhat topographical studies such as this became the main subject of his compositions, romanticizing and idealizing his work. His landscapes were greatly received by the nobility. King Louis XVI appointed Robert as Keeper of the King's Pictures. He became as well one of the first curators of the Louvre.

The Comtesse de Behague was born in 1870, married but did not live with her husband, was known for her fine taste and the excellent collections she built, in Antiquities and Islamic art in particular. She built a splendid palace in Paris, the Hotel de Behague, in which she housed them. During the 1920's some of her collections were sold. When she died in 1939, many of her things stayed in the house becoming the property of her nephew the Marquis de Ganay. There they remained, by descent, until 1987.