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image Adam vol.56/41

Reference number

Adam vol.56/41

Purpose

Capriccio showing a garden building in the form of a three-bay triumphal arch, with a coffered niche inserted into the central opening. The building is set above a small lake surrounded by groups of trees.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink in Robert Adam's hand Rome / 1756; and in red ink 41

Signed and dated

1756

Medium and dimensions

Pencil and pen; grey and brown washes384 x 560, trimmed diagonally at all four corners

Hand

Robert Adam

Watermark

Two birds

Notes

The architectural composition here is close to a larger scheme at Adam vol.55/174, which is part of a series of similar academic exercises. Their source may lie in the various projects of the early eighteenth century for the Trevi Fountain in Rome, in particular that of Nicola Salvi, which would provide both the central niche and watery setting. Robert Adam was certainly impressed by the Trevi Fountain and owned a number of drawings of it (see Adam vol.56/55, vol.56/56 and vol.56/57). The landscape here is similar to those in the Adam sketchbook in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (1954.14) and other compositions such as that by Adam in the style of Jean-Baptiste Lallemand (1716-1803) in Adam vol.56/54, although the building here is in much closer focus. The trimmed corners of this drawing show it has been moved from a previous location; this trimming has also presumably removed Adam's signature that was almost certainly next to the date in the lower left corner.

Literature

Rep. Stillman 'Robert Adam's Grand Tour', Antiques, Vol.83, June 1963, p.672Bolton The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols. (London, 1922), vol.I, p.24Robert Adam, The Creative Mind: from the sketch to the finished drawing, catalogue of exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 1996, cat.7

Level

Drawing

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).