adam brothers, the
adam brothers, the defined in 1939 yearadam brothers, the - Adam brothers, the;
adam brothers, the - British architects. Robert Adam (1728-92), the second son of William Adam, a Scottish architect, of Maryburgh, Fife, was the most celebrated of four brothers, John, Robert, James, and William. Born at Kirkcaldy and educated at Edinburgh University, he visited Italy in 1754 and studied the ancient buildings there, particularly the ruins of Diocletian's palace at Spalato (Split) in Dalmatia. Returning to England in 1762, he was appointed architect to George III, but resigned in favour of his brother James in 1768, when he became parliamentary candidate for Kinross-shire. In this year also he began with James to prepare the plans for building the Adelphi. The basis of this scheme was the raising of the river shore by a series of arches, on which were to be erected three good streets and a terrace fronting the Thames.
His other best-known works include the fine screen and gateway to the Admiralty building in Whitehall; Lansdowne House, Berkeley Square; Ken Wood House, Hampstead; Syon House, Isleworth; Glasgow Infirmary; the Register House, Edinburgh; Osterley House, Brentford; Hare-wood House, Yorkshire; Bowood, Wiltshire: Luton Hoo. Bedfordshire; and Kedleston, Derbyshire. He imparted the unity of a single imposing structure to a number of private houses grouped in a block; this system gave his town architecture great distinction, and his elegant, stucco-faced mansions in the streets of the west end of London were typical examples of his modified Greco-Roman style.
His architecture, however, was more than equalled by his achievements as a decorator of interiors. His ceilings, chimney-pieces, and staircases were designed with a lightness and grace that brought a new note into the application of classicism to domestic buildings, and has influenced interior decoration since his day. He also acquired some reputation as a landscape painter, and published with, his brothers -a series of engravings of their designs. He died in Albemarle Street, London, March 3, 1792, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
His brother James was associated in most of the work undertaken by the Adams, particularly in London, during a partnership with Robert that lasted over 25 years. His individual achievements are not known, though Portlard Place, London, is said to have "been designed by him. He died Oct. 20, 1794. John Adam succeeded to his father's practice as an architect in Edinburgh; William is reputed to 1 are been a banker and an architect. Their Christian names were long perpetuated by streets in the Adelphi, London. William Adam, father of the Adam brothers, was king's mason in Edinburgh, and was responsible for the design of the Royal Infirmary in that city, and of Hopetoun House. He died June 24, 1748.
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