Wednesday 3 July 2013

The Architecture of Robert Adam

Robert Adam (Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, 3rd July 1728 - London, England, 3rd March 1792)

Portrait of Robert Adam by George Willison
Robert Adam by George Willison

In my capacity as general gadabout, I've had the pleasure to be entertained in some *very* fine homes and none finer than those that have touched by the genius of Adam. Trained in his craft by his father, Adam undertook his Grand Tour in 1754, going on to further study in Rome. On his return to England he set up an architectural practice in London and eventually became the Architect of the King's Works in 1761.

In partnership with his brother, James, Adam dismissed the hugely popular Palladian style in favour of the new principle of "movement". Taking its inspiration from the diversity of the architectural form, movement was inspired by studies of antiquity and classical form. Adam brought this style into interior decoration too, contributing a light rococo elegance to buildings such as Hopetoun House, West Lothian and Derbyshire's Kedleston Hall. At the same time, he moved into furniture design, contributing a number of highly ornate mirrors to Aspley House.

My own house in Henrietta Street might best be described as tottering; obviously I would have had Adam do a little tidying up but I could never seem to pin him down!

Kedleston Hall
Kedleston Hall

Hopetoun House
Hopetoun House


Barbara Monajem said...

One of my romantic heroines lives near you; she sneaked out at night down a (probably non-existent) alley and emerged onto Henrietta Street. Why, you're practically neighbours!

Catherine Curzon said...

There heroine of my own WIP lives there too, it's obviously the place to be!