Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1770-1786 - Sutton Street (Soho)

Picture restorer Nicolai Biondi was born in Naples (date unknown). He was in London by 1770 and working from Sutton Street, Soho between 1770 and 1774, and later from Oxford Road. A sale of Italian paintings and drawings, promoted as belonging to Signor Biondi, including one of his own works, was held by Christie & Ansell on 21/2 February 1777 (Lugt 2646). In October 1786 Joshua Reynolds wrote to Charles, 4th Duke of Rutland, that he had been recommended to Biondi as having an extraordinary’ secret for cleaning pictures. Before entrusting Biondi with the cleaning of the Duke’s newly acquired Seven Sacraments by Nicolas Poussin, Reynolds experimented by giving him a couple of his own pictures to clean. Reynolds went on to recommend Biondi to the Earl of Hardwick the following year, mentioning that he lived in Oxford Road. Little further information is available on the restorer.

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