Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1715-1740 - Poland Street (Soho)

Venetian architect Giacomo [James] Leoni settled in London early in the second decade of the eighteenth century. His arrival in Britain was announced with his edition of translations (1715/9) of Andrea Palladio’s Quattro libri dell’architettura (1570). In this work Leoni replaced the original woodcuts with copperplate-engravings produced by distinguished craftsmen in London and Amsterdam.

The print shop of Bernard Picart in Amsterdam was the base for distribution of the book through Europe. Leoni’s first recorded building appears to have been Queensberry House, at no. 7 Burlington Gardens in Mayfair. Over the next thirty years he was involved in the construction of over a dozen country houses and at least six London houses. Two church monuments are also known to be created by him. Leoni died in June 1746 at no. 52 Poland Street, Soho, where he spent the final years of his life.

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