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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Capriccio showing a five-bay rusticated gateway with pedimented central doorway with a niche containing sculpture on either side, and another doorway between semi-engaged columns on either side. Above are attic relief panels on either side of an inscription. Below are details of a six-bay double portico.
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image Adam vol.55/179

Reference number

Adam vol.55/179

Purpose

Capriccio showing a five-bay rusticated gateway with pedimented central doorway with a niche containing sculpture on either side, and another doorway between semi-engaged columns on either side. Above are attic relief panels on either side of an inscription. Below are details of a six-bay double portico.

Aspect

Elevation verso plans, detail

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink on drawing 179

Signed and dated

Undated, possibly 1760

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, black chalk, pen 230 x 259 96 x 131, trimmed at top

Hand

Robert Adam

Verso

Capricci showing five plans in pencil, pen and red chalk. The largest is for a pavilion with five-bay apsidal entrance opening to a circular hall with two symmetrical staircases beyond and a rectangular hall on either side. The smaller plan shows staircases and apsidal elevation. Also on the sheet are thre more small and incomplete plans, and detail of a human nose. The large pavilion plan is a version of that in Adam vol.55/173 verso, as are the plan details; the drawing of the nose was probably a discarded life drawing on a sheet that Adam re-used. If this is the case it may well be that the verso drawings were the earlier and that of the gateway elevation on the recto added later.

Watermark

fleur de lys (trimmed)

Notes

The inscription panel on the sixteenth-century style gateway is lettered 'IMP. R.A. COND/ ANNO COS. XXXII. C', fancifully implying that the scheme was built by the Emperor Robert Adam, who was 32 at the time, thus suggesting a date of 1760 for this drawing and so makes it after Robert Adam's return to England in 1757. It may have been invented during his return north from Rome, perhaps inspired by Sanmicheli's gateways to Verona, especially the Porta Nuova. The composition may be contemporary with Adam's pencil view of the complex at the Madonna di Campagna in his copy of Palladio.

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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