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image SM Adam volume 8/113

Reference number

SM Adam volume 8/113


[44] Preliminary design for the ceiling for the front drawing room, 1769, as executed


Rough unfinished plan of a tripartite, rectangular ceiling, divided by bands of arabesques, with roundels on the corners, and with a central square compartment containing a central medallion, enclosed within a shaped octagonal fan ornamented with compartments of rinceaux and half figures, and the whole is set within a circular frame of Vitruvian scroll, encircled by festoons, and four square figurative tablets, and with segmental rosettes enclosed within fans in each corner, and the central square compartment is flanked by rectangular compartments containing a central segmental rosette enclosed within a fan, and a frame of anthemia, and flanked by festoons and oval medallions enclosed within wreaths


not to scale


West end

Signed and dated

  • 23/07/1769
    23d July 1769

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on laid paper (312 x 395)


Robert Adam


For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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