Inscribed in ink 52
Signed and dated
Undated, probably 1756.
Medium and dimensions
Pen, grey and brown washes190 x 312
coat of arms
Santa Costanze was originally a mausoleum and the view that Robert Adam has chosen shows remains of the graveyard structures dating from the Constantine period. There is another view of the building by Adam in the Clerk Collection, Scotland (Clerk 93), which shows the church in considerable detail but from the other side. According to Fleming, his '... charming and painstaking sketches', which included those of Santa Costanza, were probably made in the summer of 1756 (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.213). There is a superior version of this composition, identical in size, by Charles-Louis Clérisseau in The Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia (2395).Adam's drawings of the exterior of what is likely to be the adjoining church of Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura (Adam vol.57/63 and 57/64) were probably made at the same time as the current view.
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.
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