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The Property of the Trustees of the Knole Second Trust Fund
A group of drawings by Giacomo Quarenghi (lots 109-114)
Following an early career in Bergamo and Rome, and having completed a number of strongly neo-classical architectural commissions in Italy, France and Britain, Quarenghi was invited to Russia by Melchior von Grimm, one of Catherine the Great's closest artistic advisers, in 1779. Aside from short trips to Italy he stayed in Russia for the remainder of his life. His reputation grew, and from a number of minor commissions in the Empress's country residences at Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo, he was soon building a series of major buildings in Saint Petersburg on significant sites along the River Neva. In addition to palaces and townhouses in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, Quarenghi was also soon much in demand to build country houses and design parks in the fashionable English manner informed by his study of Palladio when in the Veneto in 1771-72 (see lots 110-111).
The present group was probably acquired by Sir Charles Whitworth, K.B., subsequently 1st Earl Whitworth, G.C.B., P.C. (1752-1825), when ambassador at the Imperial Court in Saint Petersburg in 1788-1800, and bequeathed by him to his widow
Arabella, Duchess of Dorset (1767-1825), widow of John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, K.G., P.C. (1745-1799), Knole Park, Kent, and then by descent at Knole. See the provenance and note for lot 131.