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Finished drawing for the second drawing room ceiling, 1773; it is not known if this design was executed (1)

Notes

The second drawing room was located on the first storey, in the middle of the house, above the eating parlour, adjacent to the staircase, behind the first drawing room, and overlooking the internal court. A plan of the house can be found in the second volume of The works in architecture of Robert and James Adam (part 1, plate 1).

According to Harris, Adam's scheme for the second drawing room, and particularly its ceiling, was conceived as a precursor or frontispiece to the great drawing room next door. One end of the room was illustrated in the Works (part 1, plate 4), the preface to which plate tells us that the painted ornaments to the walls and ceiling of this room were executed by Antonio Zucchi. The exact composition of the ceiling, however, is not illustrated, and as the house was demolished in 1862, it is not known if the second drawing room ceiling was executed in accordance with Adam's extant design.

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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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