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image Adam vol.57/2

Reference number

Adam vol.57/2


Italy: unidentified location. View of a part of village street with a rustic house on arches with an outside staircase to a wooden balcony or landing.




Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Lago; and in ink 2

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1755.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, grey and brown washes223 x 264


Robert Adam


This may be the same house that appears in the background of Adam vol.57/4, a view which is also inscribed 'Lago', as are Adam vol. 57/3, 5, 7, 8 and 9. It is possible that they all represent the domestic architecture of the small port of Pozzuoli, a panoramic view of which is found in Paoli's Avanzi Delle Antichita Esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja, Naples, 1768, Tab.IV. The inscription could refer to several of the notable lakes west of Naples, such as Averno or Fusaro, both of which Robert Adam visited. It might equally refer to the Lago d'Agnano, which was not drained until 1870. On the south bank of the latter was the Grotta del Cane, which Adam visited and described thus in a letter of 8th April: 'a small cave from the ground of which there issues a sulphurous flame which at once destroys any animal who is forced into it.' (J. Fleming, Robert Adam and his Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.154). 'Lago' might also refer to the Lago Fucino, which Adam may have visited on his return to Rome via Cassino.



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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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