A black-and-white photograph showing the Italian embassy or legation in the Legation Quarter in Beijing (Dongjiaominxiang 東交民巷). The latter was situated between 1861 and 1959 in the area of the Inner City (Neicheng 内城), east of present-day Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang 天安門廣場), and south of the Forbidden City (Gugong 故宫 or Zijincheng 紫禁城). After the Second Opium War (1856–1860), several foreign delegations settled there and established legations of their countries. The city attracted many diplomats, soldiers, scholars, artists, tourists, and Sinophiles.
The photograph is the 49th of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Gebäude der ital. Legation. (DZ)