Annotated Bibliography: Life of Adam Robert

Rykwert, J & Rykwert, 1985, The brothers Adam: the men and the style, Collins, London.

The book under consideration is written by the architectural historian, so it is impossible to say that the author provided wrong judgments, as his experience and knowledge in the field of architecture were rather significant. Being a teacher of architects and theoreticians, Joseph Rykwert managed to write a good book about the life and work of brothers Adam. The book pays attention to such periods in brothers Adam’s life as their family (as the family may help to understand the choice of profession and the style direction), about Robert’s tour (as this tour allowed him to construct a lot of new ideas about his work) and his greatest works. Kedleston, Shardeloes, Syon House, Kenwood, the Adelphi, Portland Place, Derby House, Portman Square, and Northumberland House are all works of the great brothers Adam and to which Joseph and Anna Rykwert paid their attention in the book. The design, the peculiarities of architecture, and other distinctive items are discussed in the book in comparison to other directions in architectural styles of their time. The attention is paid not only to building design by brothers Adam but also to their decorative design, which was rather significant and differed from that which was popular during their time. Describing Kenwood House and Kedleston Hall are rather similar in the idea (the central building is higher than the side ones). The author underlines that brothers Adam created the absolute revolution in the style of architecture, their influence on the design and decoration of that time was magnificent, as they cared greatly about the uniformity of the architectural style before brothers Adam began to provide their changes in the understanding of architecture and design.

Lowrey, J 1994, Robert Adam: Volume 4 of Architectural heritage, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.

The book under consideration is edited by John Lowrey, who managed to collect a lot of information about Robert Adam and the details and peculiarities of his works in one book. Architectural styles of buildings and the decoration and design peculiarities of interior architecture are the focus of the book. The fascinating ceilings and wall design, magnificent decisions in the furniture creation are the main consideration of the book. Robert Adam was tired from the monotony of the architectural decisions of the artists of his time and worked under the creation of unique and unforgettable decorative features which could underline the personal characteristics of the master of the building or the very environment. Syon House is one of the greatest examples of the interior architectural style of the Adam, as this is considered to be the collection and copies from different Robert Adam’s works, such as the hall chimney-piece is copied from Kedleston hall, a lunette is a copy taken from the second drawing-room at Derby House, and other features and arts are taken from Adam’s other works. The only difference is the painting, which colors are more vivid and lively, “a primrose yellow ground with pale blue bands and frieze, and the stucco work picked out in white” (Lowrey, 1994, p. 53). This is only the one example where Robert Adams copied some elements, but these copies were made from his works. All other works are different, as the main consideration of Adam was not to be monotonous in his art.

Reference List

Lowrey, J 1994, Robert Adam: Volume 4 of Architectural heritage, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.

Rykwert, J & Rykwert, A 1985, The brothers Adam: the men and the style, Collins, London.