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image Adam vol. 57/5

Reference number

Adam vol. 57/5

Purpose

Italy: unidentified location ?near Lago d'Averno. View of the entrance to a tunnel through a round-headed arch recessed in a rocky cliff, with slit windows above. It is approached by a path over a small footbridge beside a waterfall.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Lago di S[tanzano?]; in ink 5

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755.

Medium and dimensions

Pen and grey wash266 x 230

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

This may be a drawing of the entrance to one of the tunnels around the Lago d'Averno, one of which was the Grotto of the Sibyl that Robert Adam referred to as 'The Infernal Lake, the Grotto of the Sybille, The Temple of Apollo' in his letter of April 1755 (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4769). The archway depicted is possibly the brick gateway and its ventilation shafts, although it might equally be the tunnel between the Lago d'Averno and Cumae. There is a view of the passageway beside the sea at the Grotto of Pausillipo in Abbé de Saint-Non's Voyage Pittoresque en Sicile et Naples, Paris, 1781-86, vol.II, p.165, and another one shown in Adam vol.57/8.

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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