The focus of my PhD research is the French artist, Hubert Robert, also known as Robert des Ruines. I am studying his images of Paris 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. My work is informed by Robert's professional role as a curator at the Louvre, as well as his encouragement of the arts in response to the changes in patronage, taste and artist training practices during the Revolution. I am interested in the artist's contribution to debates concerning cultural preservation, alongside his responses to contemporary discourses on architecture and politics.
I am a member of an international Iconoclasms network and contributed to Striking Images, Iconoclasms Past and Present(eds. Stacy Boldrick, Leslie Brubaker and Richard Clay, Ashgate, 2013). In ‘Allegorical Tomb of Lord Somers: British identity built on ruins?’ I discussed representations of the ruin in reference to a painting by Canaletto, Cimaroli and Piazzetta, with regards to the actual and imagined eighteenth-century British landscape and the ideology of the picturesque aesthetic. I am keen to incorporate this research into my PhD to consider emerging notions of cultural heritage during the French Revolution.
I am currently postgraduate representative for the Birmingham Eighteenth-CenturyCentre (BECC)