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image Adam vol.57/82

Reference number

Adam vol.57/82

Purpose

Italy: Rome: ? Baths of Caracalla. View along a pathway through a series of ruined vaults with the remains of coffering at the impost of the lower arch. Vegetation and small domestic structures are incorporated into the building.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink 82

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755 or 1756.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen; grey, brown and blue washes128 x 185

Hand

Charles-Louis Clérisseau (attributed to)

Notes

The scene depicted is likely to have been amongst the remains of the Baths of Caracalla, Rome and a similar arch to that shown here appears in Adam vol.57/83, and possibly again in 57/95. The compositions are similar to Piranesi's 1765 view of the interior of the Caracalla central hall, 'Rovine del Sisto o sia della gran sala delle Terme Antoniniane' in the Vedute di Roma. In July 1755 Robert Adam wrote that 'Signor Piranesi and Monsieur Clérisseau [went] to see the ancient thermae or baths of Caracalla, the ruins of which are most magnificent'. Adam worked with his draughtsmen on these Baths when making his abortive revision of A. B. Desgodetz, Les Édifices Antiques de Rome (Paris, 1682) in the autumn of 1756 (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.217).The size of the sheet, the nature of the paper and the style of drawing suggest that this and Adam vol.57/81 and 83 came originally from the same sketchbook.

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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