Christie’s tells the story behind this massive work by Robert Hubert estimated at $2-3m:
It was commissioned in the mid-1780s by the Duc de Luynes (1748-1793) for the dining room of his opulent townhouse in the rue Saint-Dominique in the Quartier Saint-Germain in Paris, along with a pendant of identical size depicting a more placid landscape also featuring a waterfall. In payment for the two paintings — and perhaps for the promise of other works as well — Robert was granted on the 22 March 1786 the immense sum of 25,000 livres in principal by the duke, which provided the artist with a rente (or annuity) of 2000 livres a year in interest payments for life (see Jean de Cayeux, op. cit.). It was an indication of the high position Robert held in the Parisian art world of the time, as few painters of the era were paid anything approaching that amount for two paintings, regardless of their size.
Eventually the painting was bought by Duveen acting for William Randolph Hearst:
The extensive Hearst archives indicate that the two paintings by Robert arrived at the Bronx warehouse to which Duveen had them delivered in 1929, where they were photographed and meticulously inventoried. Evidently, they were subsequently installed in the beachfront castle that Hearst purchased in late 1927 in Sands Point, Long Island as a retreat for his wife, Millicent Hearst.