- Robert and James Adam office drawings
In his poem of 1787, The Distressed Poet: a Serio-Comic Poem, Keate described taking Adam to court over a ceiling which had collapsed. His suit was not successful, but it can serve to tell us that at least one of Adam’s ceiling designs for 9 Charlotte Street was executed. The ceiling in question is described as Etruscan, and while none of Adam’s extant ceiling designs for the house make use of the characteristic black and terracotta colour scheme of an Etruscan design, there were Etruscan-style furnishings designed for the Octagonal room, so the ceiling in question was most likely in that room. Adam volume 12/117 is inscribed as unexecuted, but 12/119 is not, and while there is no way to prove that this design was executed, the surviving evidence suggests that it was.
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).