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Designs for a chimneypiece for the great dining room (now the saloon and picture gallery), executed with minor alterations, 1759 (2)


These designs had minor alterations in execution. Additional ornamented was added to the frieze, the subject of the tablet changed, and caryatids - now figures of Night and Morning - have more full drapery.

This caryatid chimneypiece is of the type used by Adam prior to his Grand Tour in the Red Drawing Room at Hopetoun House. He continued to use it in other early projects: Croome Court, Harewood House and Kedleston Hall. The sculptor was probably Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770) who had been responsible for the caryatid chimneypiece at Hopetoun (1756-58), and two years later was to carve Admiral Boscawen's funerary monument.

Sources for the caryatid chimneypiece can be found in the second quarter of the eighteenth century; Stillman cites Isaac Ware's caryatid chimneypiece for Chesterfield House as a good example. The Chesterfield House caryatid chimneypiece was illustrated in Ware's Complete Body of Architecture (1756), a copy of which was in the Adam family's possession.



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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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