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image Adam vol.57/11

Reference number

Adam vol.57/11

Purpose

Italy: unidentified roadside mausoleum. View of a ruined three-storey brick mausoleum, with a large niche between pilasters over a vaulted basement, a small roofless octagon on top. To the right of the sheet is a pencil outline of a similar building.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink 11

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, grey wash145 x 217

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

There are other, grander mausolea depicted in Adam vol.57/1 and 57/7 in the Lago series of drawings. The mausoleum shown in this drawing may be located at some point along the Via Appia; en route to Naples, Robert Adam and later James visited Terracina where James remarked: 'Along this road are the remains of ancient sepulchres, now much ruined to be any way interesting, though in many of them one still sees the opera reticulata' (James Adam, The Library of the Fine Arts, 1831, II, p.177). However, it is more likely that this drawing depicts the ancient tomb at Capua on the road from Capua to Caserta, which is illustrated as the tailpiece in Abbé de Saint-Non, Voyage Pittoresque en Sicile et Naples, Paris, 1781-6, vol.II, and which describes the top columns as Corinthian and the niches below as designed to take cinerary urns.

Level

Drawing

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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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