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image Adam vol.55/43

Reference number

Adam vol.55/43

Purpose

Capriccio showing a compartmented courtyard with steps surrounded by colonnades with single-bay pedimented pavilions on either side of an oval colonnade with half an upper storey. On one side is a columned exedra with windows and doors.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink on drawing 43

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755 - 56

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen94 x 272

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

The courtyard shown, especially due to the exedrae forms, may have been inspired by prints of the Cortile del Belvedere, Rome, Italy and its renaissance festivities. The plan to this perspective is depicted in Adam vol.55/42 and shows the court flooded, with three boats in a sunken rectangular court with steps. In both Rome and Florence there was a long tradition from antiquity of flooding courtyards for aquatic spectacles, and the plan may depict the courtyard so converted; it may have been inspired by a sixteenth-century print.The bird's-eye technique used here is unusual for Robert Adam but is seen elsewhere in his drawings for the rebuilding of Lisbon, Portugal in Adam volume 9 (see Adam vol.9/56), and also in Adam vol.55/47. It may indicate the influence of Laurent-Benoít Dewez (1731-1812).

Level

Drawing

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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