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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design, probably for a relief sculpture, showing a military trophy of weapons, armour and two tall urns with handles, and a column surmounted by a seated royal figure. This ensemble is set on a dedicatory panel upon which are two seated male figures, one with legs crossed.
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image Adam vol.7/104

Reference number

Adam vol.7/104

Purpose

London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design, probably for a relief sculpture, showing a military trophy of weapons, armour and two tall urns with handles, and a column surmounted by a seated royal figure. This ensemble is set on a dedicatory panel upon which are two seated male figures, one with legs crossed.

Aspect

Elevation

Scale

1 1/2 inches to 10ft

Inscribed

Lettered in pencil on dedicatory panel within composition SACRED / TO OUR VICTORYS / IN ASIA

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1762-63

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, brown wash with white heightening on grey washed paper 276 x 149

Hand

Antonio Zucchi (1726-95)

Notes

This composition is the companion to Adam vol.7/103 and they were probably each intended for a niche on either side of the main entrance of James Adam's Parliament House scheme (see Adam vol.28/2). The source of this design in the classical trophy is more obvious than in Adam vol.7/103 and its role as propaganda is made plain in the inscription on the panel, a reference to the victory by Lord Clive in India at the Battle of Plassey in 1757 (see Adam vol.7/53). Examples of classical trophies can be found in Adam vol.7/71 and in Adam volume 26, which contains James Adam's collection of drawings after the antique. 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 the hand of Antonio Zucchi (1726-95), although the rather tentative pencil drawing elsewhere in the composition may not be his.

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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