The focus of Lauren’s PhD research is the artist, Hubert Robert, also known as Robert des Ruines. She is studying his images of Paris produced during the French Revolution (c.1789 – 1799), in particular, his depictions of iconic sites and events, including the demolition of the Bastille and the opening of the Louvre as a public museum. Her approach considers the way that antique ruins influenced the artist’s depictions of the transitional Revolutionary period. Lauren is particularly interested in Robert’s contribution to debates concerning cultural preservation, as well as his responses to contemporary discourses on architecture and politics, this includes his representations of Revolutionary festivals. As part of her study she is exploring the artist’s period of imprisonment at Sainte-Pélagie and Saint Lazare and examining Robert’s political commentaries, as alluded to in his paintings and drawings produced while in prison (1793 – 94). Her research is informed by Robert’s professional role as a curator at the Louvre following his release from prison, as well as his encouragement of the arts in response to changes in patronage, taste and artist training practices during the Revolution. Lauren is keen to explore Robert’s relationships with fellow artists and architects, in particular, Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart and Charles-Louis Clérisseau, in addition to well-known writers and antiquarians, particularly those with whom he was imprisoned, such as Jean-Antoine Roucher and Aubin-Louis Millin de Grandmaison. Also, she will examine the influence that Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s and Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint Pierre’s writings had on Robert’s landscape imagery.
Lauren is currently postgraduate representative for the Eighteenth-Century Centre (BECC) at the University of Birmingham so please get in touch if you are interested in attending BECC’s seminar series and she will add your email address to the mailing list.