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image Adam vol.56/141

Reference number

Adam vol.56/141

Purpose

Capriccio showing a ruined interior (possibly catacombs) with a series of cineraria in wall niches, a large sarcophagus on a decorated stepped base, and a doorway with the lintel inscribed 'Divo Avg'.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink 105; in red ink on album leaf and on drawing 141.

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1756 or 1757.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, brown and grey washes; ink framing line230 x 346, 4 corners trimmed diagonally

Hand

Robert Adam

Verso

Two circles, drawn in wash.

Watermark

countermark

Notes

The elaborate, free-standing sarcophagus on its tiered and decorated base is unlike others depicted in this set of drawings, the closest being that shown in Adam vol.56/88. The underground room, often under water, with a curving central pier, is a familiar theme in several of Robert Adam's classical capricci, and can be seen, for example, in a set in the Sir John Soane Museum (SM Drawer 67/7/6, 9, 10) and in Adam vol.55/42 and 55/79. The inscription 'Divo Avg' above the door on the right of the composition is also found in expanded form in Adam vol.56/147.

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).