adam : jacobite gardens

Robert Adam, the greatest architect of eighteenth-century England, spent as much care on the interiors and furnishings as on the outside walls of the buildings he designed. His sense of classical elegance was shaped in Italy by his study of ancient Roman ruins.

—Robert Adam’s architectural decoration of the Etruscan Room at Osterley Park, known as the Etruscan style, represents a stylistic synthesis of Ertruscan classical motifs found on so called Etruscan vases excavated at sites in and around Pompeii and Herculaneum. Greek black and red vases, excavated from ancient Etruscan tombs and Classical Greek architecture, were known in Britain through publications such as Sir William Hamilton’s Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities published 1766 – 1776 and James Stuart & Nicholas Revett’s book The Antiquities of Athens published in 1762.
In the following paper I argue that Adam developed the Etruscan style as a political statement in favour of the Jacobites and the restoration of Prince Charles Edward Stuart to the thrones of England and Scotland, to covertly challenge the Hanoverian monarchy of George III.—Read More:


(see link at end)… “How sick one shall be, after this chaste palace, of Mr Adam’s gingerbread and sippets of embroidery.”…

Thus wrote Horace Walpole to Lady Ossory in 1785 describing a visit to the Prince of Wales’ new London residence, Carlton House. This dismissive comment was to be among the last Walpole ever made about a designer whom he had known for over twenty years, during which time he had greeted Adam’s early achievements with enthusiasm and employed him at Strawberry Hill in the 1760s before becoming rapidly disenchanted with him. On a superficial level, it might appear paradoxical that, given Walpole’s comparable innovative and experimental activities at Strawberry Hill with the Gothic, he should change so swiftly from an unqualified admirer to such a harsh critic. This paper aims to explore some of the deeper reasons for this disillusionment and to suggest a greater coherence in Walpole’s attitude than previously recognized. Read More:

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