The Architecture of Robert Adam (1728-1792)



essay by Julian.Small






During his lifetime, Adam published: 

The Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian, at Spalatro, in Dalmatia  (1764)   and 

The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam. (Three Volumes, 1773-1822). 

Volume One was published in five separate parts between 1773 and 1778, then as a complete volume in 1778.  Volume Two was published in 1779, having also previously appeared in five instalments.  Loose plates were printed, it is thought with the intention of publishing a third volume, and these were compiled by others into Volume Three, published in 1822.  Each part of the first two volumes contained eight plates, with a short textual introduction, making forty plates in each volume.  Volume Three is shorter.  Three plates of Register House appear in Volume One, Part Four (Public Buildings) and three plates of Edinburgh University appear in Volume Three. 

In addition, there is some evidence that Adam was planning a further publication during the final years of his life, to publicise his villa and castle designs.  At one stage, he had intended to publish a new, revised, edition of the scarce book by Antoine Desgodetz, Les Edifices antiques de Rome (The Ancient Buildings of Rome), published in 1682, but this project, even limiting the study to the great Thermae, or public baths, of ancient Rome, had turned out to be too big for the resources which he had available to him. 

The title page of Volume One of Robert and James Adam's book, first published as a complete volume in 1778.


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