Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand From Mr: Buiers at Rome
Signed and dated
Undated, but may date from after Robert Adam's return from Italy
Medium and dimensions
440 x 563
Giuseppe Manocch, after James Byres
This is a larger version of part of the drawing in Adam vol.26/165; rather than the lunette form shown in that drawing, the composition here is for a rectangular ceiling around a central oval. Like other such drawings after James Byres (1734-1817), it is likely to be a copy made in London. The inscription relating to James Byres (1734-1817) appears in the same hand on other designs, Adam vol.26/166, 167, 170 and 176 and it would suggest that they were inscribed in London. All are unfinished and may well be copies, probably by Giuseppe Manocchi (1731-82), after the complete originals. James Byres turned from painting to architecture c.1758 while in Rome, and in 1762 he won a prize in the Concorso Clementino. At that time he was known to James Adam's circle (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.378). There is an album of finished ceiling designs attributed to Byres in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, USA (see J. Harris, Catalogue of British Drawings for Architecture, Decoration, Sculpture and Landscape Gardening 1550-1900 in American Collections, New Jersey, 1971, p.41).
There is also a more finished version of this composition by Manocchi, dated 1769 and annotated Sofitto de Vaticano, in the Royal Collection, Windsor (BM283; RL11603).
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