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image Adam vol.26/176

Reference number

Adam vol.26/176

Purpose

Unfinished record drawing of half a rectangular ceiling showing an anthemion border to a central oval, and a quadrant with rectangular and oval panels, incorporating scrolling foliage and figures.

Aspect

Ceiling plan

Inscribed

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

Pen, pencil 387 x 569

Hand

Giuseppe Manocchi, after James Byres

Notes

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).

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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