QUARENGHI, Giacomo. Fabbriche e Disegni di Giacomo Quarenghi Architetto di S. M. L'Imperatore di Russia, Cavaliere di Malta e di S. Waldimiro, Illustrate Dal Cav. Giulio suo Figlio. , 6-46,  pp. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece portrait of Quarenghi, and 59 full-page engraved plates. Folio, 480 x 330 mm, bound in contemporary Italian light blue paste-paper boards. Milan: Presso Paolo Antonio Tosi, 1821.
First Edition. The Italian architect and painter Giacomo Quarenghi (1744-1817) spent his entire architectural career in Russia. "During his thirty-eight-year practice he made significant contributions to the architectural identity of St. Petersburg, the last of the great European capitals to be founded (in 1703 by Peter the Great), and to neoclassical taste. Like Bartolomeo Rastrelli, his distinguished Italian predecessor in establishing the grandeur of St. Petersburg, Quarenghi also designed projects for buildings in Moscow... During his long and busy Russian career, Quarenghi designed numerous public and private buildings, churches, palaces, country houses, military installations, and triumphal arches" (Millard).
Five years after his arrival in St. Petersburg, Catherine II claimed (to Melchior Grimm) that the city was filled with Quarenghi's charming buildings. His first major work was the Hermitage Theater (1783-1787, now destroyed), followed by the State Bank (1783-1799), the State Duma (1790s), and the first shopping arcade (1797-1798). He was also commissioned to design small buildings such as bath houses, coffee houses, and garden pavilions.
Fabriche e Disegni was published seven years after Quarenghi's death. Literary descriptions of buildings designed by Quarenghi accompany the full-page engraved plates in the book. In each description, Quarenghi identifies the original commissioner, and the current occupant. Most of the engravings were executed after Quarenghi's designs by I.I. Kolpakov (1771-1840), one of the best Russian engravers active at that time, and several of Quarenghi's favorite buildings were engraved by himself. A fine, unsophisticated copy.
PROVENANCE: Antonio Vassallo, with his ex-libris stamp on front paste-down, along with his signature.
Berlin Katalog 2776. Millard, Italian and Spanish 108. RIBA 2677.
Item nr. 130538