Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand From M: Buiers at Rome
Signed and dated
Undated, but may date from After Robert Adam's return from Italy
Medium and dimensions
387 x 569
Giuseppe Manocchi, after James Byres
This design for part of a ceiling is similar to that in Adam vol.26/166, which has a similar inscription. Like that drawing this may be a copy made in London by Giuseppe Manocchi (1731-82) from a design sent from Rome by James Byres (1734-1817). It is part of a set of unfinished ceiling drawings that includes Adam vol.26/166, 167, 170 and 174. The inscription relating to James Byres (1734-1817) appears in the same hand on other ceiling designs, Adam vol.26/166, 167, 170 and 174, 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).
The draughtsmanship is comparable with the Manocchi or Manocchi studio drawings in Adam vol.26/21-27. This ceiling scheme may also be compared with that for a coved ceiling illustrated by William Chambers (1723-96) in his section on circular ceilings in A Treatise on the Decorative Part of Civil Architecture (1759).
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