Hermit in the Colosseum
Hubert Robert ( French, 1733 - 1808 )
Among ruins recalling the Roman Colosseum, a monk prays at an unadorned makeshift altar. To the left, two village girls sneak into the sanctuary to steal flowers placed before a small picture of the Virgin Mary while an older woman tries to discourage their mischievousness. The monk is so absorbed in his devotions that he neither sees nor hears the frivolity occurring behind him. Robert painted many variations on this playful subject of the hermit and flower thieves. This is the artist’s final exploration of the theme, which occupied him for over 30 years.