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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design for a doorway showing the royal arms with lion and unicorn on either side; above are dentils, Egg-and-Dart and modillions, with consoles decorated with oak leaves. The door jambs are elaboratedly decorated with foliage, with figure at the base.
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image Adam vol.7/174

Reference number

Adam vol.7/174

Purpose

London: Parliament House (designs for). Unfinished design for a doorway showing the royal arms with lion and unicorn on either side; above are dentils, Egg-and-Dart and modillions, with consoles decorated with oak leaves. The door jambs are elaboratedly decorated with foliage, with figure at the base.

Aspect

Elevation

Inscribed

Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand base [?] of the Temple of AEsculapius / Door of do temple / Daphne/ palmae and Book of ornam [?] and Book of ornamt

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1762/63

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil 419 x 327

Hand

James Adam (attributed to)

Notes

This drawing is an adaptation of the door to the Temple of Aesculapius, which was engraved by Antonio Zucchi (1726-95) for Robert Adam's The Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro, 1764, pl.XLV, with a larger detail of the doorhead as pl.XLVI. The decoration shown here is considerably more delicate and refined than the original although Robert Adam observed that 'if we abstract from the Defect of the angular Modillions in this Door, some of the other Parts of it are very fine. It may indeed by objected with Reason, that it is too much ornamented for an Outside Door . . . the particular Enrichments of this Door are so finely executed, that they afforded the highest Satisfaction' (The Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro, 1764). Zucchi was working on these details with James Adam in Venice in the summer of 1760. The introduction of the royal arms suggests that this was part of James Adam's Parliament House scheme of 1762/3. There is a detail and variation of the console and doorhead in Adam vol.7/195.

Level

Drawing

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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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