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image Adam vol.57/54

Reference number

Adam vol.57/54

Purpose

Italy: Rome: Pyramid of Cestius. View of the Pyramid of Cestius, looking along the Aurelian walls to the outer side of the Porta Ostiense (now the Porta San Paolo).

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink 54

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755 or 1756.

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, grey washes175 x 308

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

This is perhaps one of the most conventional of Robert Adam's Roman views in this section of Adam vol.57, and it may be compared with Piranesi's etching (Le Antichità Romane, vol.II, pl.XL). There are three other related views by Adam in the Clerk Collection, Scotland: one close to the walls looking at the pyramid (Clerk 101), a second from the other direction of the pyramid and walls looking to the Tiber (Clerk 54), and a third of the city-side of the Porta Ostiense (Clerk 55). The use of castellated forms in such a classical context was something that Adam explored in his later picturesque designs, although, apart from this element, the perspective here is a dull and empty one.

Literature

'Bob the Roman' Heroic Antiquity & the Architecture of Robert Adam, Catalogue of an exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum, 2003, cat.57In Pursuit of Antiquity, Drawings by the Giants of British Neo-Classicism, Catalogue of an exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum, 2008, cat.21

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 process).