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image Adam vol.7/4

Reference number

Adam vol.7/4

Purpose

London: Parliament House (designs for). Part of an elevation showing a seven-bay portico on top of steps with sculpture-filled pediment and a shallow dome above. It is flanked by two small domes with a five-bay wing terminated in a domed pavilion and portico. Above on the sheet is part of an outline plan in chalk.

Aspect

Elevation, plan (part) verso plan

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1760

Medium and dimensions

Pen, black chalk 207 x 295, folded four times, vertically

Hand

James Adam

Verso

Pen and black chalk plan for a building composed of portico, rectangular hall with niches and screen, with three circular halls adjoining. This plan is probably a related scheme to that on the recto and the use of large circular spaces would suggest an early version of the design in Adam vol.7/3; it may have been sketched out before James Adam left London in 1760. Beside this are details of a courtyard plan.

Notes

The elevation here is based on the plan in Adam vol.7/3, and like that drawing it was probably executed in late 1760. The use of relief sculpture panels is characteristic of the Roman designs of both Robert and James Adam, but is absent in James Adam's ultimate designfor the Parliament House of 1763 (see A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, p.63, fig.52).

Literature

Repr. A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, p.65, fig.54; D. Stillman, English Neo-classical Architecture, 2 vols., London, 1988, vol.1, p.58, fig.11

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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