Adam made variant designs for two separate schemes, one being a modest wall-mounted monument with a large central inscription panel, and the other being a more extravagant free-standing monument, with a sarcophagus and a bust of Johnson, either set against a pediment, or a pyramid in relief. It was the latter – a free-standing monument with a fluted sarcophagus, supported by fluted volutes, and ornamented with a mitre, crozier and inverted torch (the symbol of death), surmounted by a bust, and set against a pyramid in relief – which was executed and signed by Nollekens. The monument survives in situ in the west end of Worcester Cathedral.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, index pp. 31, 77; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, pp. 363, 367, Volume 2, p. 267; ‘Johnson, James (bap. 1705, d. 1774)’, Oxford dictionary of national biography online
Frances Sands, 2014
Contents of Worcester Cathedral, Worcestershire: monument to Bishop James Johnson, commissioned by Sarah Johnson, 1778 (6)
- Variant finished drawings for a wall-mounted funerary monument, 1778, unexecuted (2)
- Variant preliminary design, design and finished drawings for a free-standing funerary monument, 1778, Adam volume 19/13 as executed (4)