About this artwork

Adam deliberately chose a low viewpoint to emphasise the height of the single span bridge, built by his father in 1744. Elegant trees frame the composition, underlining its picturesque character. Figures provide a sense of scale and human interest, and the play of light and shadow brings the scene to life. Adam described the chief details in pen and ink and used grey washes to define volume, space and atmospheric light. He made hundreds of drawings throughout his career, exploring the relationship between buildings and settings, which informed his own architectural designs.

Robert Adam

Robert Adam

Adam was one of the most successful and fashionable architects in Britain, whose numerous designs combined classical inspiration with delicate decorative features. Educated in Edinburgh's enlightened intellectual circles, Adam joined his father's architectural practice. On William's death, Robert ran it in partnership with his brothers. He travelled to Italy and continued his studies, stimulated by friends, who included Allan Ramsay and the Italian printmaker Piranesi. He moved the Adam brothers practice to London, where his projects included Syon House and Osterley Park. In 1761 he was appointed with William Chambers Architect of the King's Works.