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image Adam vol.57/12

Reference number

Adam vol.57/12

Purpose

Italy: Naples (or vicinity). View of an overgrown and ruined circular building, seen through an arch, showing the broken walls of two vaulted stories, with another on top. In the foreground is vegetation and architectural fragments.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Naples; in ink 12

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, ink, with brown, grey and blue washes 303 x 508 (four sheets joined together)

Hand

Charles-Louis Clérisseau

Verso

Grey wash brush try outs on the upper two sheets.

Notes

This is an accomplished view by Charles-Louis Clérisseau, which - like his drawing of the market at Pozzuoli (Adam vol.57/35) - is on four sheets of paper joined together. The inscription Naples may refer to the city itself rather than the antiquities at Baia or Pozzuoli; this is the only surviving drawing that is labelled Naples as opposed to Voyage di Napoli. However, no such scene or ruin in this form was found in Naples in the mid-eighteenth century, whereas it did exist at the amphitheatre at Pozzuoli, as depicted by Natali in Paoli, Avanzi Delle Antichita Esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja, Naples, 1768, pl. XXI. The view shown in Abbé de Saint-Non, Voyage Pittoresque en Sicile et Naples, Paris, 1781-6, vol.II, pl.105 opp. p.179, is possibly closer to the spirit of this drawing by Clérisseau. In his account of Herculaneum, Robert Adam refers to traversing '... an amphitheatre with the light of torches ...' (J. Fleming, Robert Adam and his Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.155). It is possible that Adam vol.57/8 and 57/9 also show part of the interior passageway structure.

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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