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image Adam vol.9/60

Reference number

Adam vol.9/60

Purpose

Academic study for the plan for part of a symmetrical city with a harbour and lazaretto below, with a central axis running to the top of a hemicycle of noblemen's houses. On either side are more buildings and public gardens.

Aspect

Planverso elevation

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink on drawing 60; inscribed in ink in contemporary hand (on left hand side of drawing): A Place pour les/ Maisons de la Noblesse/ B. Maisons des/ Bourgeoises/C. Petit Basin a un/ Cote' La Bourse, a/ l'autre le Marche/ publique./ D. Grand Basin tout/ autours des Magasin/ des Marchants/ EE Les faubourgs dans/ lequels sont tous/ Les Metiers qui/ sont dangeruise [?] dedans/ une Ville, (continues on right hand side of drawing) F. Salle de Comedie/ G Salle de la Musique/ H. Les Eglise/ I Douan/ K Salle de Marchand [?]. Lettered in ink within the plan: Jardin Publique [in 2 places]; Grand Basin; Lazaretto; La Mer and Fort[?]

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably c1756

Medium and dimensions

Pen107 x 232, particularly torn right hand edge

Hand

Laurent-Benoît Dewez (attributed to)

Verso

Unfinished capriccio in pencil showing a three-bay elevation with dome and flanking single-bay wings. Beside this are details of balustrades. This scheme may be compared with that in Adam vol.9/45 verso.

Notes

This plan is the counterpart of the bird's-eye perspective in Adam vol.9/56 and like that drawing, it is associated with the Robert Adam scheme of 1756 for rebuilding central Lisbon, Portugal, destroyed in the fire and earthquake of 1755 (see K. Maxwell, Pombal, Paradox of the Enlightenment, Cambridge, 1995, and A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, pp.43-44). The hierarchical nature of the composition may be compared with Adam vol.9/61, also possibly to the scheme in 9/45, and more generally to the idealised schemes of the Concorso Clementino, especially the citta in mezzo al mare of 1732 (see P. Marconi, Disegni di architettura dell'Archivio storico dell'Accademia di San Luca, 1974, vol.I, figs.377-408 and 438-52).

Literature

Rep. A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, p.43, fig.35.

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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