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Architectural Study, The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Antique English Prints, 1770s

$1,800

Robert Adam (1728-1792) and James Adam (1732-1794) (after)
Alex Finnie, G.B. Piranesi, T. Vivares, Rooker, Zucchi, Pastorini, D. Cunego et al. (engravers)
Architectural Elements
from The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Esquires
Robert and James Adam, London: [1773-] 1778-1779
Engravings, uncolored
23.75 x 18 inches, plate mark, average approximate
25.5 x 19 inches, sheet overall
36 x 30 inches, custom framed overall
$1,800 each, as framed

A group of engraved studies of classical architectural elements, based on designs by Robert Adam and James Adam from their influential publication The Works in Architecture. The plates in this innovative work set a new standard of quality and elegance for English architectural sets and were instrumental in popularizing neoclassical architecture in Britain. According to scholar Dora Wiebenson, “among the [British] aristocratic and wealthy class, [this work] was seminal in popularizing neo-classical ideas of interior planning, the Adam Style of ornament, and in freeing English design from the Palladian’s austere interpretation of the classical idiom.”

Description

Robert Adam was one of the greatest and most influential architects in England in the 18th century. He was a major proponent of the adoption of classical forms of Greek and Roman architecture. In this regard, he is credited as being the principle architect in developing and introducing the neoclassical style of architecture and decorative arts to England in the second half of the 18th century. Adam traveled to Rome from 1754 to 1757 was influenced by Giovanni Batista Piranesi, also a principal figure in the development and ascendancy of the neoclassical style in England and Continental Europe.

The Adam neoclassical style combined classical architectural principles of proportion and symmetry with highly decorative but generally delicate ancient motifs. Adam received numerous architectural commissions in England, for which he designed not only the exterior architecture, but the interior architecture, and even furniture and decorative arts, ushering in a new and expanded role for architects. Among his more famous country house and London-area commissions (some in partnership with or as successor to other architects) were Kedleston Hall, Harewood House, Osterley Park and Syon House.

Condition: Each very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Custom very high quality frames with black molding and inner gilt sand-textured large fillet, with French mat. Usual light wear to frames.

References:

Berlin Kat. I (1977): 2341.

Harris, Eileen. British Architectural Books and Writers. Cambridge University Press, 2011. 5.

Royal Institute of British Architects I:28.

Wiebenson, Dora. Architectural theory and practice from Alberti to Ledoux. Chicago: Architectural Publications, 1982. III-D-34. (2).

Wiebenson, Dora. The Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection, Vol. 2. Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1993. pp.12-18.

“[The] Works in Architecture.” Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture, University of Wisconsin. http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/DLDecArts/DLDecArts-idx?type=header&id=DLDecArts.RobertAdamV1&isize=M (16 June 2016).

Additional information

Century

18th Century