Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pen and ink and watercolour
  • 13 ⅞ × 11 ⅛ inches · 352 × 283 mm
  • Drawn c.1782
  • £7,500

Collections

  • J.S. Maas & Co;
  • W A Brandt (1902-1978) acquired from the above;
  • By descent to 2024

This elegantly worked drawing was made by the Rome born architect Joseph Bonomi. Trained in Italy, Bonomi spent several decades working in London for Robert and James Adam. Bonomi was almost certainly responsible for some of the finest architectural drawings produced by the Adam office. In 1781 Bonomi established an independent practice, producing a series of beautiful designs for an impressive roster of clients including the bluestocking Elizabeth Montagu and Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford. The present drawing may relate to Bonomi’s work for Aylesford, for whom he designed interiors of Packington Hall.

In 1783 Bonomi and his wife, the cousin and ward of Angelica Kauffman, travelled to Rome, possibly at the urging of Kauffman and her husband, the decorative painter Antonio Zucchi. In Italy Bonomi was elected a member of the Accademia di Belle Arti at Bologna, and the Accademia di San Luca at Rome, and made a tour of southern Italy, including the Greek temples at Paestum. The family returned to Britain in 1784 and Bonomi established a successful practice in London. The present drawing uses the classic palette – pale pink, blue and controlled ink wash - of Concorsi drawings. The design shows a severely antique chimneypiece, overmantel, the heavy fluting of the fireplace frieze specifically recalls Bonomi’s design for the doorcases at Packington Hall and it may be that this drawing relates to Bonomi’s work for Aylesford at Packington.