Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118, The Wolfson Gallery

Portrait of James Adam

Painting
1763
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

James Adam (1732-94) was the youngest of a dynasty of Scottish architects who developed a new style of architectural Neoclassicism. He is depicted here as a leading architect, flanked by his bronzed wax model for a new ‘British’ architectural order for the Houses of Parliament. This is the only recorded portrait by Zucchi, who worked as an architectural draughtsman and a successful decorative painter to Robert and James Adam.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Oil painting, Antonio Zucchi, Portrait of James Adam with the Capital of the Britannic Order, Rome, signed and dated 1763
Dimensions
  • Height: 172.8cm
  • Width: 123.2cm
Credit line
Purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Victoria and Albert Museum, with Art Fund support, 2019
Summary
James Adam (1732-94) was the youngest of a dynasty of Scottish architects who developed a new style of architectural Neoclassicism. He is depicted here as a leading architect, flanked by his bronzed wax model for a new ‘British’ architectural order for the Houses of Parliament. This is the only recorded portrait by Zucchi, who worked as an architectural draughtsman and a successful decorative painter to Robert and James Adam.
Bibliographic References
  • J.J. Kierkuć-Bieliński, 'Context and attribution: Antonio Zucchi's portrait of James Adam, 1763', in Colin Thom (ed.) Robert Adam and his Brother: New light on Britain's leading architectural family(Swindon, 2019), pp.83-103
  • A. Wilkinson, 'Portrait of an architect', V&A Magazine, winter 2019, pp.76-83
  • A.M. Clark and E.P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni: a complete catalogue of his works with an introductory text (Oxford, 1985), p.373 (as not by Batoni)
  • H. Colvin, A biographical dictionary of British architects (London, 1978), p.44
  • J. Fleming, 'Robert Adam and the Grand Tourist', Cornhill Magazine, vol.168, no.1004 (1955), pp.118-37
  • J. Fleming, Robert Adam and his circle (London, 1962), p.261 (as Batoni)
  • J. Fleming, 'Allan Ramsay and Robert Adam in Italy', The Connoiseur, March 1956, p.83
  • A. Smart, 'An uknown portrait of James Adam', The Burlington Magazine, XCVI, April 1954, p.102 (as Batoni)
  • J. Steegman, 'Some English portraits by Pompeo Batoni', The Burlington Magazine, LXXXVII, March 1946, no.32, p.60 (as Batoni)
  • J. Swarbrick, Robert Adam and his brothers (London, 1915), pp.141-42 (described as Robert Adam)
Collection
Accession Number
E.837-2019

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record createdAugust 14, 2019
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