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image SM Adam volume 14/15

Reference number

SM Adam volume 14/15


[14] Finished drawing for a ceiling for the Etruscan / octagonal dressing room, 1775, possibly executed


Plan of a circular ceiling with a central figurative roundel enclosed by a band of enclosed anthemia. This in turn is surrounded by beading and urns surmounted by tubular flowers and anthemia. Beyond this there are winged sphinxes alternating with figurative cameos, and all this is enclosed within a wreath of husks. All this is in turn surrounded by a border of beading, anthemia and calyx


bar scale of 3 inches to 5 feet


Design of a Ceiling for the Circular Dressing Room at Apsley House

Signed and dated

  • June 1775
    Adelphi / June 21st 1775

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and coloured washes, including black, cerulean blue, Indian yellow, and pink within a double ruled border on laid paper (526 x 368)


Office hand, possibly Joseph Bonomi


LVG, fleur-de-lis within a crowned cartouche


Bolton, 1922, Volume II Index p. 43
Harris, 2001(a), p. 352, n. 113
Harris, 2001(b), p. 101
Lea, 2005, p. 10
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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