Old Master Paintings & Works on Paper Day Auction

Old Master Paintings & Works on Paper Day Auction

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 268. A traveler in a woodland landscape   .

Robert Adam

A traveler in a woodland landscape

No reserve

Lot Closed

July 4, 11:46 AM GMT


2,000 - 3,000 GBP

Lot Details


Robert Adam

Kirkcaldy, Fife 1728 - 1792 London

A traveler in a woodland landscape  

signed lower left: R. Adam Pinxit delin. 1784

watercolour over pencil, original wash-line mount

251 by 274 mm

Edward Seago R.B.A., A.R.W.S., R.W.S. (1910-1974);

With The Fine Art Society, London, by 1980;

By whom sold to the parents of the present owner

Robert Adam was one of the most important British architects of his day. Son of the architect William Adam (1689-1748), he was born in Scotland. In 1754 he embarked upon a Grand Tour where he spent five years in France and Italy visiting classical sites and studying architecture. On his return Adam set up his own practice in London with his brother James. The 'Adam Style', as it became known, came to dominant the tastes of British society and had a lasting influence on British architecture and interior design.

Aside from making architectural drawings for his firm, Adam was also fond of executing drawings such as the present work. These 'pure landscapes' demonstrate the influence of John Robert Cozens (1752-1797) and Adam’s interest in the picturesque theories of William Gilpin (1724-1804).

Other examples of this type of drawing by Robert Adam can be found at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, The Royal Museum of Fine Art, Copenhagen, The Sir John Soane Museum, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the British Museum, London.1

1 For further reading on the subject please see A.T. Bolton, 'The Classical and Romantic compositions of Robert Adam', Architectural Review, London 1925; A.P. Oppé, 'Robert Adam's picturesque compositions', The Burlington Magazine, vol. LXXX, 1942, pp.56-59; and A.A. Tait, 'The Picturesque drawings of Robert Adam', Master Drawings, vol. IX, 1971, pp.161-71