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  • image SM Adam volume 12/144

Reference number

SM Adam volume 12/144


[21] Finished drawing for a ceiling for the great drawing room, 1773, as executed


Plan of a rectangular, tripartite ceiling, divided by pilasters on the walls, and bands of miniature rosettes, and naturalistic anthemia, beyond which are rectangular areas divided into five compartments, with a central rectangle containing an enclosed patera, and four calyx, set within a lozenge, and with enclosed rosettes in each corner, and this is flanked by rectangular compartments containing winged sphinxes, supporting arabesques and a tablet of swags, surmounted by a vesica-shaped medallion, and above is a tablet containing an urn flanked by winged half-griffons, surmounted by arabesques, and with an apron of festoons supporting cameos and peltoid shields, and beyond there are further rectangular compartments containing enclosed rosettes within lozenges, as in the centre, and the central compartment of the ceiling is arranged as a groin vault, with a central medallion, enclosed within a circular frame of guilloche, encircled by four anthemia, and four enclosed urns, connected by a square frame of arabesques, and from each corner of this square is a drop of arabesques and anthemia, connecting to a square tablet in each corner, enclosed within a square frame of calyx, and between there there is a segmental compartment on each side, containing a segmental patera, enclosed within frames of feathers, beading, anthemia enclosed within scrolled hearts, and cable moulding, and the whole has a square border of connected enclosed miniature rosettes, beyond which is a compartmental border, divided into rectangles, containing oval medallions, rosettes enclosed within fans, and gridaille panels with urns supported by arabesques, and surmounted by anthemia and swags, and with a segmental patera in each corner, enclosed within a fan


bar scale of 3/4 inch to 1 foot


Cieling for the Great Drawing Room / at Lord Stanley's in Grosvenor Square / (and in pencil) The [cropped] / & s[cropped] / to [cropped] / the [cropped] / Sc[cropped] / Orn[cropped] / [ __ cropped] / [ __ cropped] / [ __ cropped]

Signed and dated

  • 1773

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, wash and coloured washes including verdigris, pink and violet on laid paper (596 x 426)


Adam office hand, possibly William Hamilton or Joseph Bonomi


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, p. 66; Index p. 38
Stillman, 1966, p. 74
Beard, 1978, p. 49
Harris, 2001, pp. 287, 363
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Exhibition history

Robert Adam's London, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 30 November 2016 - 11 March 2017

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

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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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