Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design, probably for a relief sculpture, showing a large urn decorated with the lion and unicorn, surmounted by flags and a medallion with dolphins. At the base is a dedicatory panel upon which two male figures are seated, with legs crossed.
top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
image Adam vol.7/103

Reference number

Adam vol.7/103

Purpose

London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design, probably for a relief sculpture, showing a large urn decorated with the lion and unicorn, surmounted by flags and a medallion with dolphins. At the base is a dedicatory panel upon which two male figures are seated, with legs crossed.

Aspect

Elevation verso perspective, detail

Inscribed

Lettered in pencil on dedicatory panel within composition Sacred / to ... In the war declar'd / MDCCLVI

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1762-63

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, brown wash with white heightening on grey washed paper 303 x 180

Hand

Antonio Zucchi (attributed to)

Verso

Unfinished capriccio in black chalk of two temples and an incomplete drawing of a decorative panel.

Notes

This composition and its companion in Adam vol.7/104 were intended to decorate the entrance elevation of James Adam's Parliament House scheme and can be seen behind the portico niches on either side of the door in Adam vol.28/2. The design was based on the classical trophy, examples of which can be found in Adam vol.7/71 and in Adam volume 26, which contains James Adam's collection of drawings after the antique. The inscription on the panel probably relates to the various battle reliefs by Antonio Zucchi (1726-95) found in Adam volume 7 (see Adam vol.7/47-59). Such a sculptural group was probably in James Adam's mind when he wrote in his unfinished essay on architectural theory of 1762 that ' . . . in niches are introduced statues also which, being nearer the eye, must not be very colossal. . .' (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.318). The two figures here are certainly in Zucchi's hand, although the rather tentative pencil drawing elsewhere may not be his.

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).