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ROBERT ADAM 1728-1792 ref: RA1
Robert Adam was the most celebrated of the four brothers - John, Robert, James and William. Their father was an architect, and Robert was educated at Edinburgh University. In 1754 he visited Italy and published a folio of Emperor Diocletian's palace at Spalatro. He returned to England in 1762 and was appointed architect to the king and queen. From then on, aside from the commercially unsuccessful speculation with the Adelphi, his career flourished, and he was responsible for an impressive list of magnificent buildings in London and elsewhere. With his brother, James, he is said to have originated the idea of giving to a number of unimportant private edifices the appearance of one imposing structure, as seen in Portland Place, Stratford Place and Hamilton Place. The brothers formed a style marked by a fine sense of proportion and a very elegant taste in the selection of classical ornaments. They designed furniture in character with their apartments, such as bookcases, pedestals, clock-cases, candelabra, mirror frames and console tables, adapting classical forms to modern uses.