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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Academic study for two unfinished plans for buildings. One is octagonal with a double ring of columns alternating with square piers in the centre, and niches in the wall behind. The other plan has a circular columned court with a small Greek Cross pavilion in the centre, approached through a portico with steps. In the bottom right corner is a sketch for a horse's head.
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image Adam vol.9/32

Reference number

Adam vol.9/32

Purpose

Academic study for two unfinished plans for buildings. One is octagonal with a double ring of columns alternating with square piers in the centre, and niches in the wall behind. The other plan has a circular columned court with a small Greek Cross pavilion in the centre, approached through a portico with steps. In the bottom right corner is a sketch for a horse's head.

Aspect

Plan, detailverso perspective, details

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink on drawing 32verso inscribed in chalk in a contemporary hand, part of 10 lines of a list of payments in columns To Salle / To Lazaro / Left / To Do Hou / Saturday 16 / To Rus / after / To Spar / the / Alt /.

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1755 - 56.

Medium and dimensions

Pen204 x 223, vertical foldline

Hand

Robert Adam

Verso

Capriccio in grey wash and pen showing a ruined, barrel-vaulted hall with niches beside a square tower in a wooded setting. Below this: two elaborately carved funerary urns, one oval and one square, each with four short legs; also, at far left, a small detail of cornice and frieze. The mausoleum theme on the recto - San Costanza was the Mausoleum of Constantina - perhaps explains the drawing of funerary urns, of which there are other exercises in Adam vol.9/42 and 55/117. The capriccio is similar in subject and style to that in Adam vol.9/30. The inscription is probably in Robert Adam's hand and refers to activities on a 'Saturday 16'.

Watermark

names

Notes

The plan of the octagonal pavilion was possible derived from the Baptistery at San Giovanni Laterano in Rome, Italy or, for the coupled columns, from San Costanza in Rome or San Vitale at Ravenna. Giorgio Vasari the Younger provided a rich collection of these forms in his Piante di Chiese of 1598; in the Roman section of Adam volume 57 there are views of Santa Costanza (see Adam vol.57/ ). The plan of the circular building has a similar antique source in the Maritime Theatre at Tivoli, Italy or in classical mausoleum plans. The mausoleum theme - San Costanza was the Mausoleum of Constantina - perhaps explains the drawing on the verso of funerary urns.

Literature

verso rep. J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, pl.42.

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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