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Preliminary design for the Dining room Cieling at Kedleston, 1761, as executed (1)


We know from the Duchess of Northumberland's account of her visit to Kedleston in 1766 that this ceiling was executed with an alternative colour scheme: with a purple ground. As such the form, but not the colours, denoted in the drawing were followed. The design for the ceiling is based on an antique example from the Palace of Augustus in Rome, of which Adam was in possession of a drawing by Giuseppe Manocchi (SM Adam volume 26/169). This particular ceiling from the Palace of Augustus is also illustrated in Charles Cameron's Baths of the Romans (1772). There is a finished drawing to this design for the ceiling in the Kedleston drawings collection. The painted roundels are by Antonio Zucchi, the oblong panels by William Hamilton, and the central roundel by Henry Moreland.



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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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Contents of Preliminary design for the Dining room Cieling at Kedleston, 1761, as executed (1)