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image Adam vol.8/55

Reference number

Adam vol.8/55

Purpose

Unfinished sketch of an antique pavement square, showing a central roundel of a horseman with four rectangular panels set in a series of decorated scrollwork borders.

Aspect

Detail, plan

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink in Robert Adam's hand Sketch taken from an Ancient/ Pavement in France

Signed and dated

Undated, possibly a copy of drawing made in 1754.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil 199 x 175

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

In the opinion of A. A. Tait, this drawing relates in time and place or subject to those contained in Adam volume 57.This unfinished pencil sketch by Robert Adam may have been copied from a drawing he made while in France in 1754. The style of drawing is similar to that of his other drawings of ceilings in volume 8; it may have been done and included as a record, which may also be the case for the drawing in Adam vol.8/37.Adam was in Nímes in December 1754 where he drew the Tour Magne in Adam vol.55/60, a drawing inscribed with the words 'taken on the/ Spot', on the verso of which is a pencil sketch of the Pont du Gard. Adam had a high opinion of such antiquities, describing them as having '... merit exceeding all description...' (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.116). Earlier, when he was in Paris, he had made plans 'to stay sometime in Aix in the South of France will Consume much time as the Antiquitys of Nimes & adjacent places, Marsails and Aix must be consider'd by one' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4749). On 18 December 1754 he wrote 'that we returned to Nimes where I now write you this Epistle. To Morrow is dedicated to Antiquitys, or as much of it as is necessary after which we proceed by cross road to Beaucaire, Orangon & Pt. Royal to Aix' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/47529). The bold sophistication of this sketch shows it to be later in date than the style of the Tour Magne drawing.

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.

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