Mediterranean jetty

Hubert Robert

Paris, 1733 – Paris, 1808

Oil on canvas
183 x 225 cm
Museum purchase with the assistance of the Heritage Fund, the national and regional governments under the aegis of FRAM, and individual patronage, 2013
© Galerie Michel Descours

Hubert Robert - Embarcadère méditerranéen © Galerie Michel Descours


This painting is one of the rare pure marine scenes by Hubert Robert, with views of the ports of France from the archbishopric of Rouen. It belonged to the Duc de Montpensier, grandson of King Louis Philippe. It owes much to Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), painter of navies and ports and a friend of the artist, as well as to Robert’s memory of a trip to Naples and the Amalfi coast in Italy, which he took in 1760 with the Abbot of Saint-Non. It includes the artist’s traditional motifs, with the young laundress near the sarcophagus turned wash house and the palace inspired by those of Rome, but it is above all the pre-Romantic vision of the artist-traveller, waiting to depart for the distant horizons of a sea and sky which occupy almost the entire canvas, a striking quality of the composition and one which invites the viewer to wander.

Hubert Robert - Embarcadère méditerranéen © Galerie Michel Descours