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. The present drawing of the Chinese Pagoda can be related to no.197 in Giacomo Quarenghi disegni architettonici
, St Petersburg: Ermitage,1999. This project may have been destined for the Chinese Village in the New Park.
The design for an entrance flanked by angels may be for a chapel or tomb.
We are grateful to Emmanuel Ducamp for providing additional cataloguing information.