Monday 28 March 2016

Spang and the Statues on the West Front of Spencer House.

Spang and the Statues on the West Front at Spencer House.
Ceres Bacchus and Flora
Now very weather beaten.
Spencer House, London, facade to Green Park, James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, who superseded Vardy, coloured drawing.:
Design by Athenian Stuart
An00164351 001 l
Spencer House
From Vitruvius Britannicus
Spencer House by Samuel Wale
Spencer House
Engraving by Thomas Malton
Government Art Collection

Michael Henry Spang and Robert Adam

Spang - Architectural Sculpture for Robert Adam.
The Screen to the Admiralty, Whitehall.

Drawing of the Admiralty Screen from the Adam Offices.

Agostino Brunias c. 1760.

It would appear that the statuary was never introduced into the screen.

Adam produced individual drawings for engraving and sale. This was done in the case of the Admiralty Screen, his first executed public commission in London, of which he was apparently exceedingly proud. 

Thomas Ripley’s Admiralty was built in 1723-26, but its boundary wall was demolished for street widening in 1759, prompting Adam’s commission to build a screen. This view by the Adam office draughtsman, Agostino Brunias, was made for publication, and shows the Screen as executed, albeit with additional sculptural ornament. There is evidence that the sheet was folded four times, most likely when it was sent to Francis Patton to be engraved for publication.
The Admiralty Screen engravings were sold from February 1761 at Andrew Millar’s bookshop on the Strand for 2s.6d. -

Adam Office Drawings.

Working Drawing

Pen and Wash

Image Courtesy Soane Museum

Drawing from The Adam Office

Government Art Collection.



Image above from:


Details from the Admiralty Screen designed by Robert Adam and executed by Spang.


Unexecuted Design for the Monument to James Thomson
Office of Robert Adam.
Soane Museum.


Spang and the monument to James Thomson
Westminster Abbey.

James Thomson


Carved by Spang
designed by Adam

Westminster Abbey



Allegorical figures of the seasons, Summer and Spring to left, lifting a garland to adorn a plinth supporting a bust of Thomson while Autumn standing on the right holding a cornucopia, crowns it with laurel, watched by Winter, a cloaked male figure standing behind; with bas-relief portraits of Bartolozzi, Hamilton and Tomkins in plaques below; after Hamilton; frontispiece to 'The seasons' by James Thomson (London: 1797). 1798

Etching and stipple

British Museum


James Thomson

by Stephen Slaughter (1697 - 1765)

775 x 641 mm

Oil on Canvas


Yale Centre for British Art.


James Thomson
Anonymous Marble Relief
533 x457 mm
It is incised Scotland gave me birth / England a Grave / I Sung the Seasons.
Collections: bought, 1972, through David Peel and Co, Christie's, 20 June, lot 197; from the collection of A.G. Kilroy, previous history unknown.
© National Portrait Gallery, London