Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Finished drawing for a ceiling for the dressing room, 1766, as executed (possibly with minor alterations) (1)



Finished drawing for a ceiling for the dressing room, 1766, as executed (possibly with minor alterations) (1)


The dressing room at 23 Hill Street is located on the first storey of the house, and Adam's ceiling was executed and partly survives in situ. The surviving ceiling shows some alterations when compared with Adam's drawing. It is known that the central fan was replaced with a large circular medallion in the nineteenth century, but the painted, ornamental differences may result from changes made in execution, or, indeed, alterations undertaken during the nineteenth century.

Pullins has suggested that the ceiling was also modified by James Stuart, immediately following Adam's tenure, and that the eight surviving eighteenth-century medallions in the ceiling - which depict the twelve signs of the Zodiac - were installed to designs by Stuart, and inserted into Adam's earlier plasterwork.

This arrangement, composed of a ring of eight roundels is inspired by copies after antiquity - such as within the Baths of Augustus - by Francesco Bartoli in the Topham Collection, and Bernard de Montfaucon in his Supplement au livre de l'antiquitée expliquée (see Aymonino, 2013, pp. 22-39). Other examples of this arrangement within Adam's work (both executed and unexecuted) can been seen in his designs for the ceilings of Lady Scarsdale's dressing room at Kedleston, the music room at Harewood, the dressing room at 15 Downing Street, and the back drawing room at 10 Hertford Street.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  

Contents of Finished drawing for a ceiling for the dressing room, 1766, as executed (possibly with minor alterations) (1)