Fabbriche e disegni di Giacomo Quarenghi architetto di S.M.l’Imperatore di Russiacavaliere di Malta e di S.Walodimiro illustrate dal Cav.Giulio suo figlio.
Milano, Paolo Antonio Tosi 1821.
Large folio. Engraved portrait, 46pp, 59 engraved plates. Contemporary boards, rubbed at spine and at outer corners (with some loss of surface at head of spine). A little weak at joints but a good, clean, untrimmed copy.
Quarenghi (1744-1817), an Italian-born architect from Bergamo, was the ablest of all the Western European architects employed at the Russian Imperial Court under Catherine the Great and her successors. After his death his son Giulio saw to the publication of the present volume, largely based on copper plates prepared in Russia of which a number had previously been used for his father’s very rare Edifices construits à Saint-Petersbourg, published at St Petersburg in 1810, but with a newly written text incorporating a biographical and historical introduction. Nineteen buildings and projects are described and illustrated on the handsome engraved plates, and these include the Hermitage Theatre, Smolny Institute, and Cavalry Barracks in St Petersburg, the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, and other palaces for such clients as Prince Bezborodko and Count Sheremetev, as well as a project from earlier in his career for a theatre at Bassano. For a second edition published in 1843-4 his son had this volume reprinted and added a further volume publishing various other buildings and projects, but the designs published in 1821 were the best, and it was the volume of 1821 which first made Quarenghi’s work familiar to architects outside Russia. Another excellent reason for acquiring the present volume is that it is printed on much superior paper to the later edition, copies of which are almost invariably spotted or browned internally. BAL Cat 2677 ; Berlin Cat 2776.