Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection
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Jean-Baptiste Robie (1821-1910), Belgian
Jean-Baptiste Robie's lush cascade of roses in various states of maturity offers a reminder of beauty's ephemeral nature. The small buds at the top of his composition aspire upward, but as the eve traces the arrangement's downward flow, the more mature blossoms project forward and then downward, overwhelming their stems with their own profusion. That moral is subtly obscured, however, by the sheer density and coloristic brilliance of Robie's subject.
As an academic still life painter, Robie was a well-known figure in his time, garnering numerous awards and distinctions beginning as early as 1850. He spent most of his career in his native Brussels, but exhibited widely in Europe and America throughout the later century. Though little known today, Robie's works are represented in the collections of leading museums throughout Europe and America, a testament to his once pervasive reputation.