The portico shown most closely matches that found in Adam vol.1/28, which is possibly dated c.1768 and probably derived from James Adam's Parliament House drawings while in Rome in 1762/63 (see A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, pp.55-66). The plan was still 'improving' in 1763, no doubt encouraged by the arrival in 1762 of the Office of Works memorandum giving details of the existing buildings (see Adam vol.7/110). James Adam had written to his sister in London explaining, 'Now that my own plan is made out my curiosity to see the old is greater than ever' (Tait, op. cit., p.63). Nothing appears to survive to match this plan unless it is the two sketches of 1760 and references to the decoration of great and circular halls (see Adam vol.7/60).
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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