This exceptional group of eleven designs by Giacomo Quarenghi were recently discovered and extracted from a leather-bound album of drawings by various artists, principally of theatre designs by Alessandro Sanquirico (1777–1849) who worked at the Scala of Milan at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Palladian architect Quarenghi was the most celebrated in Imperial Russia under Catherine the Great, officially being appointed court architect to the Empress not long after arriving in St Petersburg from Italy in 1779. His first high profile commission was the English Palace in Peterhof. Other celebrated examples of his work are Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, the Hermitage Theatre and the Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens in St Petersburg. He produced a large number of designs for the Empress and her court during the two decades he spent in Russia.
In 1792 Quarenghi supervised the works for the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, named after Catherine the Great’s favourite grandson Alexander I.
We are grateful to Emmanuel Ducamp for providing additional cataloguing information.