Signed and dated
- Undated, probably 1762-63
Medium and dimensions
Pencil, pen, brown wash with white heightening, partly oxidised, on grey washed paper
228 x 253
Antonio Zucchi (attributed to)
The set of pen and wash drawings with heightening, Adam vol.7/21-44, are all designs for the relief decoration of James Adam's Parliament House scheme of 1762/63. The predominant theme is British history and the figures are dressed in either early seventeenth-century or classical costume. The principal draughtsman was Antonio Zucchi (1726-95), although some of the figure compositions are probably the work of Agostino Scara, of whom James Adam wrote that he '... draws figures full as well as Brunias...' (J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.279). Adam gave great emphasis in his Parliament scheme to the role of decorative sculpture and this probably explains the survival of so much material of this sort. In his unfinished essay on architectural theory of 1762, Adam explained: 'What is meant by outside decoration is sculpture, statues and bas-reliefs, together with foliage, trophies, frets, interlacings and a thousand such ornaments which, if properly applied, give such amazing magnificence and render an ediface so wonderfully interesting...' (Fleming, op.cit., p.317).
This sculpture group was probably intended for the exterior of Adam's Parliament building.
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation
Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural,
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it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance
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