An Italian Salvatore Tonci (1756-1844) was born in Rome and served in the Naples Guards; in 1797, he came to St. Petersburg, Russia, then moved to Moscow, where he lived for many years. A well educated and gifted person, a poet, musician, singer and painter, Tonci had success in high society. He married princess N. I. Gagarina, the marriage secured him a high position in society. Tonci, called in Russia Nikolay Ivanovich, took part in the founding of the Architect School in Moscow and for more than 25 years was an inspector of its drawing class.
Paintings of the 18th-early 20th centuries from the Reserves of the Russian Museum. by K. Mikhailova and G. Smirnov. Leningrad. 1982.