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  • image Adam vol.56/36

Reference number

Adam vol.56/36


England: Hampshire: Winchester. Study of the three-tier Gothic cross at Winchester.




Scale bar of 2 ins to 10 ft.


Inscribed in ink ELEVATION of the CROSS at WINCHESTER; on both album leaf and drawing in red ink 36

Signed and dated

  • 1750

Medium and dimensions

Pencil and pen; grey wash; ink framing line409 x 276


Robert Adam


Robert Adam was in London in 1749/50 and visited Wilton in 1750 (see Fleming Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome (London, 1962), p.85). He presumably saw the early fifteenth-century Butter Cross (High Cross) at Winchester at that time. However, this drawing is probably a copy of a print of 1741, without the central sculpture, rather than a worked-up sketch made at first hand (see Victoria County History, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 5 vols (London, 1912), vol.V, p.6). In the Adam sale of 1818 (see Catalogue of A Valuable Collection of Antique Sculpture etc. R. Adam Christie's, London, 21 & 22 May 1818), lot 2 was a collection of prints of Gothic architecture, 'A ditto (large parcel) of Gothic architecture and antiquities' (see Bolton The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols.(London, 1922), vol.II, p.329-333); this may well have included a print such as the one of the Butter Cross.There is a disparity between the scale bar and the scale of the drawing.



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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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