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.