Painted Wood Gimneypiege

6 ft. 3 ins. length of shelf. 5 ft. I in. total height. Date ahout 1745-50.

of the earlier Georgian period will be remarked, and the general proportions of the ornament are almost as delicate as in the earlier work of Adam. It was the models of this type which were obviously adopted for much of the work at Sion, between 1758 and 1763. The first sketch selected for illustration is a design for a chimney-piece for the drawing-room there, and is dated 1762. It lacks the precision of nearly all his work of some four or five years later, and details such as the fluted ogee frieze —here drawn disproportionately small in comparison with the members of the shelf above—are survivals of the earlier Georgian manner, imperfectly comprehended. The decoration of the jambs is feeble, and the columns are almost irritatinglv ornate. Adam had not yet settled the principles of his own style, and we find him at this date designing in "Batty Langley Gothic" for Strawberry Hill. If an architect's practice can be measured by the number of speculative drawings which are made in

; Chimney Piece for the Drawing room at Sion." 176:

his office—and this is a fairly accurate criterion, the proportion of these drawings being, of course, in inverse ratio to the extent of his connection—Robert Adam must have had much of his later renown yet to acquire at this period, in spite of the " gilt-edged " list of subscribers to the Ruins of Diocletian's Palace at Spalatro in 1764. One most elaborate set of details in the Soane Museum shows bas-reliefs, beautifully drawn and shaded, for a suggested scheme for the Houses of Parliament—an abortive proposition, as the old buildings remained until they were burned down in 1834, when Sir Charles Barry—or Welby Pugin—achieved the present design in open competition, and between the years 1S40 and 1852 the nation's lords and commoners were housed in the Gothic manner at a cost of over three millions of money.

Fig. 46, a year later than the previous design, shows some improvement, although here Robert Adam is still obsessed with the classical manner. The Ruins at Spalatro must have been in course of preparation at this time—it was published in the following year—and Adam was probably dominated by the Roman idea of form and ornament for some considerable period after this Audley End chimney-piece was designed.

" Chimney Piece for the Great room at Bowood." 1763.

" Chimney Piece for the Great room at Bowood." 1763.

" Chimney Piece for The Duke of Richmond" Undated (1765).

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