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image Adam vol.56/88

Reference number

Adam vol.56/88

Purpose

Capriccio showing a large ruined archway with two freestanding Doric columns and attic storey with inscribed panel. A sarcophagus is in the right foreground and on the left is a crumbling arch.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink 41; in red ink 88

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1756 or 1757.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, grey and brown washes; ink lines forming an octagonal frame173 x 176, 4 corners trimmed diagonally

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

This drawing is part of a series that take the sarcophagus as a theme; this composition reappears, albeit on a larger scale and in a landscape setting, in Adam vol.56/93. According to Salmon, the capriccio is based on the arch depicted is the 'Arco de Pantani', and the columns frame the remains of the Forum Transitorium (see Salmon Building on Ruins; The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture (London, 2000), p.44, and the print by Étienne Duperac (c.1525-c.1604) in Nash Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome, 2 vols, 2nd ed. (London, 1968), vol.II, p.433).The framing lines show that Robert Adam explored both octagonal and circular compositions.

Literature

Rep. Salmon Building on Ruins; The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture (London, 2000), p.45, pl.27

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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