The Colonnade of St. Peter's, Rome, during the Conclave

Hubert Robertc.1769

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Hubert Robert studied and worked in Italy from 1754–65. Upon returning to Paris, he entered the Royal Academy as an architectural painter and full member in 1766. His time in Italy would prove to be influential and classical architectural subjects would dominate his subsequent oeuvre. <em>Interior of the Colonnade of St. Peter's</em> is based on a drawing dated 1758, the same year that Pope Clement XIII Rezzonico was elected. Given his interest in classical subjects, Robert has antiquated his subject by aging the condition of the columns and including a soldier dressed in ancient Roman armor. Similarly, Robert imaginatively portrays the Grotto of Posillipo. Measuring over 2000 feet in length, this tunnel was carved from the volcanic rock by ancient Romans to connect Naples with Pozzuoli. While this passageway was improved by repaving and reinforcing the arches during the reign of Charles III of Naples (1734–59), this structure was never the grand tunnel Robert depicts with coffered vaults and engaged columns.

Download this artwork (provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Learn more about this artwork.


  • Title: The Colonnade of St. Peter's, Rome, during the Conclave
  • Creator: Hubert Robert (French, 1733–1808)
  • Date Created: c.1769
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 56 x 47.5 x 6 cm (22 1/16 x 18 11/16 x 2 3/8 in.); Unframed: 42.6 x 33.4 cm (16 3/4 x 13 1/8 in.)
  • Provenance: Denis-Pierre Papillon de la Ferte, Marius Paulme (sold, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, November 22, 1923, lots 76 and 77, to Henri Boudonneau), 1923 - 1949 Henri Boudonneau (Paris, France), by inheritance to his son, Rene Boudonneau, 1949, 1949 - 1961 Rene Boudonneau, by inheritance to his wife, Mme S. A. Boudonneau, 1961, 1961 - 1974 Mme S. A. Boudonneau (Geneva, Switzerland) (sold, Christie's, London, December 13, 1974, lot 146, to Gallerie Cailleux, 1974 - 1976 Gallery Cailleux (Paris, France) sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1976.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1976.97.1
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: back of the original canvas : Mr de/Laferté
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
  • Collection: P - French 18th Century
  • Accession Number: 1976.97.1

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps