Farmyard with Two Figures by a Well and a Large Wheelbarrow in the Foreground

Hubert Robert1760–1765

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Natural, spontaneous, and fresh, this drawing reflects French artists' new direct approach to nature in the second half of the 1700s. The director of the French Academy in Rome encouraged students to make the Italian capital and its environs one of their favored subjects.

Hubert Robert created this drawing while a student at that academy. It explicitly embodies a theme that remained constant throughout his career: the interaction between living nature and aged, slightly decaying buildings. He brought many such drawings back to Paris, where they served as sources for his paintings for many years.

Robert typically developed compositions whose effect was both picturesque and slightly imposing. This scene, drawn in red chalk, one of his favorite media, combines direct observation with the artist's imagination. Characteristically, Robert included two diminutive figures at the stone well; they serve to accentuate the lean-to's great height and the massiveness of the well's pulley.


  • Title: Farmyard with Two Figures by a Well and a Large Wheelbarrow in the Foreground
  • Creator: Hubert Robert
  • Date Created: 1760–1765
  • Physical Dimensions: 37.5 × 49.5 cm (14 3/4 × 19 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Red chalk on buff-colored paper
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 97.GB.33
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Hubert Robert (French, 1733 - 1808)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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