The Genius of Robert Adam: His Interiors (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

The Genius of Robert Adam: His Interiors (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

2001 UK

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Robert Adam was one of the greatest British architects of the later eighteenth century. So widespread was his influence as a decorator and furniture designer that his name has become a household word. But it is the synthesis of architecture, planning and decoration that stands at the heart of Adam's achievement as Eileen Harris shows in this elegantly illustrated book. She considers in detail the interaction of each of these elements in nineteen of Adam's most accomplished interior projects, including some of the most famous British country houses and London town houses. Most of Adam's enormous body of work was in pre-existing houses, the challenges of remodeling stimulated his inventive imagination, and he became a master at turning awkward situations to advantage. Harris has mined archival sources, including the large collection of drawings from the Adam office at Sir John Soane's Museum in London, and fully examined the houses themselves to discover exactly what Adam did in each project and why. Taking into account later alterations and renovations, Adam-revival additions, and so-called accurate restorations of the last twenty-five years, Harris brings to light how much of Adam's original work was conditioned by circumstance and how much was left to invention. In her detailed discussions of the planning, decoration, ceilings, carpets, chimney pieces and furniture of such interiors as those at Kedleston, Syon House, Osterley Park, Newby Hall, Culzean Castle, and Home and Lansdowne Houses in London, Harris uncovers the full extent of Adam's prodigious achievements.
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