Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Art & Architecture > 61. James Adam

61.  James Adam (d. 1794).  British Order. Ink and wash on paper with red highlighting, (116 x 60 cm.), 1762. Avery Library, Drawings and Archives

The third son of Scottish architect William Adam became best known as the partner of his brother Robert, who was one of the most important architects in England in the second half of the eighteenth century and a leading international figure in the neoclassical movement in Europe. Pursuant to their gaining knowledge of the "spirit of antiquity" both brothers had undertaken extensive stays in Rome and had been guided by the French architect Charles Louis Clerisseau, a pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome. It was during James's tenure in Rome, 1760-1763, that this drawing, replete with Crown of Britain and other symbols of the Empire, was made as part of his project for the Houses of Parliament. Although he had little chance of winning the commission, James dedicated the design to the Earl of Bute, a close friend of the King.

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