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image Adam vol.7/194

Reference number

Adam vol.7/194

Purpose

Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh Assembly Rooms and Musical Society (designs for concert hall). Unfinished design showing a series of rectangular wall panels decorated with urns and arabesque work.

Aspect

Elevationverso detail

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand Sketch for a great Room at Edinb.

Signed and dated

Undated, possibly c.1755

Medium and dimensions

Pencil364 x 227

Hand

James Adam

Verso

Unfinished design in pencil for a quadrant of the centre of a decorated ceiling.

Watermark

monogram

Notes

This drawing in James Adam's hand may be connected with the commission for a concert hall for the Edinburgh Assembly and Musical Society that John Adam was anxious to obtain in 1755 (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.126). Such a scheme could well have involved James Adam at this time. There are other references to the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms in Adam vol.1/1, 3 and 4, of which 1/3 is inscribed Sketches of a Project for Edin'r. The scheme involved all the Adam brothers: Robert was involved in it with John before his departure for Italy, when James replaced him. Robert wrote from Italy in 1755 asking John to be told that 'I have been much on the observe with respect to concert rooms etc. But never have seen anything extraordinary in any shape as they perform mostly on the stages in play-houses . . . the few concert halls are quite plain without any coveing at all' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4761). This interest may explain Adam's acquisition of a volume of theatre designs by Carlo Fontana (see A. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols., London, 1922, II, p.330). There is another unfinished drawing by James Adam for the 'great room' in Adam vol.7/225, although this may be related to the casino designed for Robert Adam's house at 46 Lower Grosvenor Street, London (see A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, p.83-85).

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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