About this artwork

This sumptuous painting is the most ambitious surviving portrait of any member of the Adam family, the great eighteenth-century Scottish architectural dynasty. It depicts James Adam during his grand tour of Italy in 1763, before he joined his brother, Robert, in the family firm’s London office. Dramatically posed and luxuriously dressed, he is surrounded by objects that attest to his fascination with the ancient world, the main source of inspiration for the brothers' pioneering neoclassical designs.

  • title:
    James Adam, 1732 - 1794. Architect and designer
  • accession number:
    PG 3784
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
  • measurements:
    172.80 x 123.20 cm; framed: 195.00 x 145.00 x 8.00 cm
  • credit line:
    Purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Victoria and Albert Museum, with Art Fund support, 2019.