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[Joâo Baptista]

(b Paris; d Queluz, Estremadura, Sept 30, 1782).

French landscape designer, interior designer, architect and sculptor, active in Portugal. His early career in Paris is not well documented. It is known that he lived in the Faubourg Saint-Lazare and became bankrupt on 21 November 1748. His work on the façade and the interior of St Louis-du-Louvre (1741–4; destr. c. 1810) is mentioned in Jacques-François Blondel’s L’Architecture française (1752–6). He and Jean-Baptiste Pigalle worked there under the direction of Thomas Germain, silversmith to Louis XV and a highly appreciated craftsman in Portugal. It was probably Germain who suggested that Robillon move to Portugal, and he arrived there c. 1749. Due to the levies on Brazilian gold and diamond mines, the country was going through a period of unprecedented wealth that was being spent on manufactured objects and public works, especially after the Lisbon earthquake (1755).

Robillon’s work in Portugal was linked with the royal ...