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image Adam vol.7/93

Reference number

Adam vol.7/93

Purpose

London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design for part of an entrance elevation showing a panelled doorway, probably on a rusticated basement, with pilasters supporting a pediment and garlanded frieze. Above this are the lower parts of five framed panels.

Aspect

Elevation verso detail

Inscribed

Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand with some calculations verso inscribed in ink in a contemporary Italian hand Bisogna seguitar questo

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1762-63

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen 259 x 460

Hand

George Richardson (attributed to)
verso in a different hand

Verso

Unfinished design in pen over pencil for the rustication pattern for four Voussoirs arches. The hand here is unlike that on the recto.

Watermark

Fleur de lys over shield with bend

Notes

This drawing is probably for one of the basement entrances to James Adam's proposed Parliament House scheme of 1762/63, and can be related to the unfinished plan in Adam vol.7/78. The panelled doorway is that shown in detail in Adam vol.7/101. There is an alternative door with different panels in Adam vol.7/82. All may be derived from the bronze doors of the Pantheon, Rome; there were several studies of the Pantheon doors in the Albani Collection (see Campbell 2004, II, p.513).
The composition of a basement with projecting panels was described by James Adam in his unfinished essay on architectural theory of 1762: '... windows or niches so dressed I suppose in a principal floor over a rustic basement and raised from the cape or cornice of the basement by pedestals, the base and cornice of which may run along this part of the building or no, as is the most pleasing to the eye.' (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh and Rome, London, 1962, p.319). This entrance elevation is perhaps the best indication of the character that Adam intended for his Parliament building and is considerably more sophisticated and classical than the sketch elevation of 1760 shown in Adam vol.7/4.

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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