This week Hubert research has taken a backseat to my car woes. My nine year-old Volvo has been experiencing the aches and pains of old age. Like the old wives tale about dogs, I believe that one car year is equal to seven human years. Which would put my trusty Volvo at somewhere between 63 and 70 years old – past its prime but certainly not ready to be relegated to the junkyard.
I refused to accept the advice of my favorite (and uncharacteristically honest) mechanic friend to trade it in for a new, less expensive, lower maintenance car. Believing I needed a Volvo specialist to save it, I brought it to the Volvo dealer for a second opinion. Big mistake. Hundreds of dollars and a suspiciously broken dipstick later the bangs and clunks were still there.
Unable to accept the grim diagnosis about the faithful vehicle that transported me safely and comfortably each day, I brought my ailing automobile to yet a second Volvo dealer. Huge mistake. Here it was diagnosed as having a compromised breather box, injured tie rods, loose motor mounts, and a multitude of other problems. I was determined to rescue it from a slow death but thirteen hundred dollars later it was still banging and clunking so back again to dealer #2 who then proceeded to diagnose transmission trouble, the coup de grace of coupes. If I had been told at the onset that my car issues were due to transmission trouble I would have issued a do not resuscitate and taken the advice of my first (and favorite) mechanic friend. Now, with too much money invested, I have no choice but to hang onto my debilitated Swedish sedan.
With cars currently on my mind, I have noticed that Hubert has etched an occasional automobile into some of his scenes. I’ve been trying for quite some time to date Hubert (numerically, not romantically) but because only one of his etchings is titled with a date (1914-1918) it has been difficult to pinpoint his lifespan. Perhaps cars could be the key to placing Hubert in a specific time period establishing a chronology of his existence. Now, I just have to research thousands of cars to isolate the few that Hubert etched. I might be taking the slow lane but it’s not how fast you drive, it’s how you drive…
2 thoughts on “"You can’t think you are going to win all the races by being quicker, because it’s not possible. So you need to find another way." Alain Prost, French race-car driver”
I found you by accident after spending hours on the computer looking for who I thought was Hubert Robert.I have 2 small etchings signed by Hubert:Fontaine de la Vierge at Notre Dame and Cathedrale de Reims. I've been trying for ages to figure out who this guy is.Happy to know I'm not out there alone….also happy to know that I wasn't the only one looking for info on him in Paris. Was there in September and found nothing but had the best time searching.Good luck chasing Hubert !Heather
Thanks, Heather. You're definitely not alone – there are many of us Hubert fans out there. The question is: why has it been so difficult to uncover any details about an artist who appears to have been fairly prolific? It's been a real challenge thus far but stay tuned, I'm confident that eventually some information will turn up!