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image Adam vol.55/89

Reference number

Adam vol.55/89

Purpose

Capriccio showing a wall with a three-bay portico of columns and pilasters, with rectangular relief panels on either side. Above is a vaulted niche with doorway in a ruined superstructure.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink on drawing 89

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755 - 56

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, grey and brown washes343 x 230, bottom left of drawing has what appears to be a rough repair

Hand

Robert Adam (attributed to)

Verso

Unfinished capriccio in pen and pencil showing a wall sarcophagus supported by two heads, which may be compared with several of Robert Adam's wall tombs, such as Adam vol.55/114 and 115.

Notes

The composition of a deep perspective to one side without any balancing interest is typical of Charles-Louis Clérisseau (see Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721-1820) Dessins du musée de l'Ermitage Saint-Petersbourg, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1995, figs.52-54), although the pen drawing here is considerably bolder. Volume 56 also contains similar but tamer compositions by both Clérisseau and Robert Adam, and there is a view of this sort among the Adam drawings in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (see A. Rowan, Catalogues of Architectural Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Robert Adam, 1988, p.37, pl.9); it is possible that this may be the missing drawing from Adam vol.55/66.The rough repair to the bottom left of the drawing probably dates from the early nineteenth century when the volumes were being compiled and arranged.

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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