Inscribed in ink 72; in red ink on drawing 164 and on album leaf 164.
Signed and dated
- Undated, eighteenth century.
Medium and dimensions
Pencil, pen, grey and brown washes261 x 195, laid/mounted onto backing sheet and trimmed to drawing
Unidentified eighteenth-century artist
There are numerous views of the Colosseum, Rome by Robert Adam and his circle, and this perspective was a favourite one. The drawing can be compared with a composition by Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) of 1755 (see National Gallery of Scotland, D.3775). Adam had connections with Ramsay in 1755 and wrote in December that year that 'Ramsay has done nothing to my picture' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4794). However, the accomplished if somewhat spiky draughtsmanship here is unlike that of either Adam or Ramsay. There are at least two views of the interior of the Colosseum in the Blair Adam collection (BA 290 and 286), and several in the Clerk Collection, Scotland (Clerk 22-27), and Adam and Ramsay views of the Acqua Vergine (see J. Fleming 'An Italian Sketchbook by Robert Adam, Clérisseau and others', The Connoisseur, 146 (1960), p.190, pl.11 and 12).The consecutive ink numeral 71 and 72 and remains of a backing sheet on both this drawing and Adam vol.56/163 suggest that they may once have been part of the same, now dismembered, volume.
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