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image Adam vol.57/155

Reference number

Adam vol.57/155


Capriccio of a strigillated sarcophagus at the foot of two columns with entablature.




Inscribed in ink 155

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1755 or 1756.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, brown and grey washes; double framing lines in ink , within square framing lines in pencil.(2 sheets, joined vertically)169 x 170; within a circle of 160 dia.


Charles-Louis Clérisseau (attributed to)


This drawing is on two joined pieces of paper; the left-hand side, which is in pencil, is unfinished. The ink framing lines have been inscribed after the two sheets have been joined. The attribution of the drawing to Charles-Louis Clérisseau is based on comparable roundels of classical capricci in The Hermitage (see Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721-1820) Dessins du musée de l'Ermitage Saint-Petersbourg, catalogue of exhibition in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1995, p.145). There are several similar, smaller watercolour compositions in Adam vol. 56 with a sarcophagus theme (for example, see Adam vol.56/121 by Robert Adam).



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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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