The name of Robert Adam is today equated, as it was by his contemporaries, with taste, style and elegance.
Since his death, the term 'Adamesque' has been used to describe not only ceilings, doorways and fireplaces but objects as various as the City Hall in Charleston and a chamber-pot.
A university drop-out, Adam still made his own scholarly contribution to the understanding of classical architecture and was a talented painter as well.
As visionary in the decoration of interiors as he was ingenious in the design of exteriors, Adam was more often responsible for the renovation, alteration or completion of existing buildings than for the creation of entirely new ones.
Best known perhaps for his work on great private palaces such as Syon and Kenwood, Osterley and Kedleston, Saltram and Culzean, Adam was also responsible for churches and tombs, monuments and market-halls and for such public commissions as the Admiralty Screen in Whitehall and Britain's first purpose-built public archive, The Register House in Edinburgh.