Tait, The Adam Brothers in Rome
The Grand Tour was all things to all men. For the Adam brothers, Robert and James, Italy offered a world of intense intellectual, professional and social development. The limited attainments of their Scottish education had equipped all three brothers to practice architecture in Scotland, but little else. To attain greater things, they needed the space to branch out and break with tradition. This meant travel abroad. For anyone interested in extending or developing their understanding of the visual arts in the eighteenth century, this certainly meant Italy, regarded as the cradle of antiquity and centre of the classical world. For the Adam brothers, the purpose of their tours was to provide them with a clear understanding of classical architecture and enable them to effectively express that understanding pictorially. Such was the bedrock of the Adam style and the basis of their later triumph in London. Accompanied by a fascinating text by world renowned art historian Professor A A Tait, the drawings reproduced in this beautifully produced book are all taken from the collection of 57 volumes of Adam drawings purchased by Sir John Soane and held in the Sir John Soane Museum, London, many of which have never been published before.