Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia', London, 1764.
[Library shelfmark: Bdg.l.26].
Robert Adam was inspired by the architecture he saw on his Grand Tour of Europe from 1755 to 1757.
Travelling through France, Italy, and wider Europe, Adam sketched classical ruins and was tutored in architectural drawing and art history.
A particular inspiration was Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia — an ancient Roman palace built in the fourth century AD.
Published in 1764, Adam's 'Ruins of the palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia' contained 61 plates of engravings, showing the palace ruins in Split, Croatia.
Although the drawings were not all archaeologically accurate, the Diocletian's palace project inspired Adam's neo-classical style and linked his name with architectural antiquity.
His Grand Tour influenced Adam's work for the rest of his career.
'Ruins of the palace' was on display in 'The beautiful spirit of antiquity', at the Library from 16 June to 18 September 2016.