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Purpose

Finished drawing for a ceiling for the drawing room, possibly executed, 1761 (1)

Notes

During the 1760s the drawing room was located in the front room on the first floor of 16 Lower Grosvenor Street. It is not known if this ceiling design was executed as the room has been much altered.

This drawing is one of the earliest coloured drawings produced by the Adam office. Though the ornamentation and style of draughtsmanship are characteristic of the early office, the colours used are not. Following his return from Italy Robert Adam experimented with the colours he had seen in antique buildings, and this drawing is an excellent example of an experiment with colour. King notes that Adam's later ceilings - during his mature period - make use of lighter colours, allowing him to mimic the tones of the ceiling in the walls without creating an overall effect of darkness. Stylistically, Stillman relates this ceiling design to those for Gordon House and Thistleworth.

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Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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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