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image Adam vol.26/133

Reference number

Adam vol.26/133


Record drawing of part of a ceiling showing a pattern of rectangular borders with geometric and fretwork decoration.


Ceiling plan


1 3/8 inches to 1 foot


Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand Scalla di Piedi Inglesi

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1760 - 1763

Medium and dimensions

Pen, brown wash, pencil; ink framing line 382 x 522


Giuseppe Manocchi (attributed to)


fleur de lys in two circles


It is probable that the ceiling here is from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, Italy. The subject and inscription make an attribution to Giuseppe Manocchi (c.1731-82) likely. There is another study of the top right panels in Adam vol.26/137, also attributed to Manocchi, and other studies of the fretwork panels and shell-pattern borders in Adam vol.26/143. The composition is a reduced version of the Giovanni Battista Piranesi illustration in Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, etc. (Rome, 1778), as from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, but then in the Casi di Campagna del Sig. Conte Fede. There are similar designs among the Manocchi drawings in Adam volumes 15 and 16. The scale in English feet in ink in an Italian hand indicates that the drawing was intended for the English market in Rome.



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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