segunda-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2014

The Old Bridge, c. 1775

Hubert Robert, know as "Robert of the Ruins" spent eleven years as a student in Rome from 1754 until 1765. During his soujorn he studied at the French Academy, but dedicated most of his energy to sketching the Eternal City and the Roman campgana. He reworked the ideas recorded to his sketchbooks, in drawings, and paintings throughout his career.

In the Old Bridge, Robert used an ancient monument as the basis for his modern composition. The Ponte Salario, which was built in the sixth century, is show from below. The arch of the bridge, illuminated by a soft pink glow, separates foreground from background space. Through the bridge we see the Roman countryside in the distance. The crumbling pier on the far left has been converted into a contemporary barn.

Robert has combined the grandeur of ancient Rome with the anecdotal. For example, the young man on the right bank admires the washerwoman opposite, while the old woman on the pier entices her cat to return. Robert, by linking present and past under the warm light of the Italian sun, remind us that  bridges are emblems of the passage of time, thus evoking a nostalgia for the glory of ancient Rome.

texto: National Gallery of Art. Nova York: Thames & Hudson, 2005, pp. 174.

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