Design and finished drawing for the ceiling of the auditorium, 1775-76, Adam volume 14/17 as executed (2)
The ceiling in the auditorium at the Drury Lane Theatre was executed in trompe l'oeil, in exact accordance with Adam's earlier drawing (Adam volume 14/17). The existence of a later, unexecuted scheme for the ceiling (Adam volume 14/16) suggests an intention to repaint it, but this was never executed.
Of the unexecuted scheme for the ceiling, Stillman wrote the following: ‘Filled with characteristic Adam motifs and arrangements, it is a subdivided ceiling that revolved around a central panel with a classical subject medallion. Among the motifs employed in the various panels are long subject plaques, ovals, valerium fans, octagons with rosettes, and patterns of subdivided panels composed of nine adjacent octagons. The controlled variation in panel size and content reflects Adam’s sense of unity amid variety, and the refined Neo-classical character of the decoration is also typical of Adam’s domestic work, especially the houses decorated in this same decade of the 1770s.’