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Finished drawings for the house, 1760 (2)

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Adam made various changes to the arrangement of the central block at Kedleston, despite being restricted by the work previously carried out by Brettingham and Paine. From Adam volume 40/3 we can see that Adam reduced the depth of the portico to a single column, advancing the north wall of the hall into this space, removing the staircase from between the hall and saloon to one side, and redesigning the elevation of the south front. This was the formal entrance to the house - with a less formal entrance below in the sub-hall on the ground floor.

These two section drawings are very important. Adam volume 40/3 is the only dated drawing showing Adam's scheme for the hall. According to Harris the capitals of the columns in the hall - as seen in both of these sections - were inspired by those from the Temple of Jupiter Stator in Palladio's Quattro Libri. Adam volume 40/3 shows the arrangement of the two central rooms of the house: in this case arranged as a Roman atrium and vestibulum taken from the reconstruction of Pliny's Villa Laurentinum in Villas of the Ancients by Robert Castell; an arrangement advocated by Adam in Ruins. Moreover, Adam volume 40/3 shows the wall niches. The use of niches at Kedleston had been Brettingham's idea, having provided Curzon with various casts, but Adam, too, was an advocate of this wall treatment during the early years of his career, and it can also be see in the hall at Harewood House, the gallery at Croome Court, and the dining rooms at Shelburne House and Syon. Adam volume 40/4 depicts the hall flanked by the drawing room and the state dressing room (as Adam intended it to be at this date).

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Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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