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image Adam vol.56/54

Reference number

Adam vol.56/54

Purpose

Capriccio showing a square two-storey building with a Pantheon-style dome on a drum and two entrances on steps with relief sculpture above. Across a single-span bridge is a three-bay pavilion, with trees and a lake in the landscape.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink 94; in red ink on backing sheet 54

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably c.1756

Medium and dimensions

Pencil and pen; grey wash on grey washed paper273 x 419, mounted on backing sheet 353 x 497

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

The drawings in Adam vol.56/49-54 are part of a set of landscape compositions by Robert Adam. They are all of a similar size, on grey washed paper and in the style of Jean-Baptiste Lallemand (1716-1803), but sources of the compositions may differ. It is likely that these drawings were part of a larger group since each has a number between 83 and 94, inscribed in the eighteenth century. They were probably made in Rome in c.1756; Robert Adam wrote in November of that year that he had been working on such 'kind of ... sketches...' and had '... already made out a dozen different views as unlike one another as I could ...' (J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.363). This set of drawings may be compared with the landscape compositions in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (for example 1954-14) (see A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, pp.20-23).The square building with a dome is similar to that found in several compositions in Adam volume 55; on the verso of 55/51 is a small sketch of such a building in a landscape with a waterfall, and a similar pavilion in a landscape setting is found in Adam vol.56/114. Stillman particularly contrasts this drawing and that in Adam vol.56/41 'with his pre-Italian drawings of the same sort' (see D. Stillman, 'Robert Adam's Grand Tour', Antiques vol.83, June 1963, p.673).

Literature

Rep. D. Stillman, 'Robert Adam's Grand Tour', Antiques vol.83, June 1963, p.672

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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