Inscribed in black chalk in a contemporary hand Sketches of a Project for Edin'r
Signed and dated
Undated, probably 1754/5
Medium and dimensions
Pen, pencil324 x 303
James Adam (attributed to)
Pencil design for the plan of a small U-shaped building and perspective diagrams.
coat of arms [part]
In the opinion of A. A. Tait, this drawing relates in time and place or subject to those contained in Adam volume 7.This is probably a scheme for the Great Room in Edinburgh that occupied the Adam brothers around 1754/5; it was a hall for the Edinburgh Assembly and Musical Society (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, pp.126 and 346). This drawing is probably a detail of the niches shown in the section in Adam vol.1/4, itself an alternative for the central section shown in Adam vol.1/1; the drawing here may also be compared with the flanking wings in the section in Adam vol.1/1. The scheme involved all the Adam brothers: Robert was involved in it with John before his departure for Italy, when James replaced him. The painstaking draughtsmanship here is typical of James at this time. There are two drawings attributed to him for this project in Adam volume 7 (see Adam vol.7/194 and 225). Robert wrote from Italy in 1755 asking John to be told that 'I have been much on the observe with respect to concert rooms etc. But never have seen anything extraordinary in any shape as they perform mostly on the stages in play-houses . . . the few concert halls are quite plain without any coveing at all' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4761). This interest may explain Adam's acquisition of a volume of theatre designs by Carlo Fontana (see A. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols., London, 1922, II, p.330).
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