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  • image SM Adam volume 12/82

Reference number

SM Adam volume 12/82


[3] Design for a ceiling for the gallery or library, 1771, unexecuted


Plan of a rectangular, tripartite ceiling, divided by rosettes enclosed within squares, and rectangular panels containing masks connected by vines, and with a canted bow on one of the short sides, ornamented with arabesques and a tazza within a frame of fret. The central flat has a central circular compartment, containing a rosette, enclosed within a circular frame, encircled by anthemia enclosed within triangles, rosettes, and enclosed segmental paterae, all set within a shaped octagonal frame, with an apron of festoons, peltoid shields, and vesica-shaped medallions, all within a circular frame of Vitruvian scroll, and framed by four small triangular compartments containing masks supported by arabesques. This central compartment is flanked by octagonal compartments, each with a central patera, enclosed within a circular fluted frame, encircled by anthemia, a shaped octagonal frame with an apron of festoons, and enclosed rosettes within each festoon, and with arabesques between the festoons, and these octagonal compartments are each framed by four triangular compartments containing arrangements of acanthus leaves and calyx


bar scale of 2/5 inch to 1 foot


Cieling for the Gallery at Sir George Colebrooke's in Arlington Street / imperfect / (and in pencil) Picture / Picture

Signed and dated

  • 1771

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and coloured washes including Indian yellow and pink on laid paper (619 x 309)


Adam office hand, possibly Joseph Bonomi, with pencil-drawn annotations by Robert Adam


XD&SB within a cartouche


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 34
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 180
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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