Inscribed in ink 32
Signed and dated
Undated, probably 1755.
Medium and dimensions
Pencil, pen, grey and brown washes235 x 271
This drawing is Robert Adam's version of the Arco Felice; Charles-Louis Clérisseau's version of the same view is found in Adam vol.57/31. The principal differences between the two drawings are in the handling of the superstructure and in the scale of the composition. This is the case with their respective works throughout the Neapolitan tour, where Adam's drawings are both more accurate and and also simplified in their treatment of detail, but duller and somewhat empty in compositional terms. This is very clear if a comparison is made with the drawing of their near contemporary Giovanni Battista Natali (1698-1765) in Paoli, Avanzi Delle Antichita Esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja, Naples, 1768, pl.XLV.This view was probably drawn when Adam visited Cuma after 8 April 1755; he wrote from the town that 'there are many temples & other antiquities' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4796).
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation
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