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  • image Adam vol.26/110

Reference number

Adam vol.26/110


Study of a Renaissance candelabrum attributed to Michelangelo with figures and grotesque decoration, set on four animal feet.




Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand, possibly that of Giuseppe Manocchi, Candeliere di S. Pietro di Michelangelo

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1760 - 63

Medium and dimensions

Pen, brown wash (later, pencil) 561 x 183


Giuseppe Manocchi


This drawing is a copy of that by Antonio Gentili (1519-1609) in the RIBA Drawings Collection, London, which may have belonged to 'the French architect Henri Marlet in the late eighteenth century in Rome' (M. Richardson, The Art of the Architect, London, 1984, p.37). There is a candle design by Giuseppe Manocchi (1731-82) of c.1777 in the Drawings Collection (see J. Lever, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects, L-N, London, 1973, p.64), which was attributed to Charles Heathcote Tatham and others in album five of the Hardwick drawings in the RIBA (see 5/4). There is another candelabra design attributed to Manocchi in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London that is described as 'in the antique Roman taste' (P. Ward-Jackson, Victoria and Albert Museum, Italian Drawings, 2 vols., London, 1979, II, pp.154-5). The inscription on both this sheet and Adam vol.26/111 is probably by Manocchi. The bronze candelabrum shown here was one of six made by Gentili in 1581 and later presented to St Peter's, Rome.
There is a copy of this drawing in ink on tracing paper in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see Ward-Jackson, op.cit., II, p.154). The provenance of the V&A's drawing (Charles James Richardson 1806 - 71) reinforces its connection with the Soane drawing, as it does for Adam vol.26/111.
Robert Adam possibly used these drawings as a source adapted for his Luton candelabra of c.1775, which he described as 'Bronzes executed in Italy in the Style of Mich. Angelo' (see The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, London, 1773-79, part III, pl.VIII).



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.

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