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  • image SM Adam volume 8/68

Reference number

SM Adam volume 8/68


[2] Preliminary designs for a ceiling for the gallery, 1775, unexecuted


Two rough plans for a square ceiling, one of which has a feint apse drawn in pencil. The top ceiling has a central medallion, encircled by a fan enclosing anthemia, and set within a shaped octagonal frame, encircled by a wreath accompanied by four medallions, and a shaped x-shape frame with an apron of ox skulls, festoons and swags in each corner, and with a border of connected enclosed miniature rosettes. The bottom ceiling has a central medallion, enclosed within a lozenge-shaped frame ornamented with a fans, with an oval medallion flanked by sphinxes and swags on each side, and the whole set within a circular frame, with a fan in each corner, and with a border showing alternative designs, with one side ornamented with Vitruvian scroll and central tablets of arabesques, and the other side with Greek key fret, and L-shaped corner compartments containing rinceaux


not to scale

Signed and dated

  • 1775
    datable to 1775

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil on laid paper (200 x 327)


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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