At first mainly interested in the humanities (poetry and Greek language), he eventually became professor of mathematics at Pavia.

In his *Geometria del Compasso* (Pavia, 1797), he proved that any geometrical construction which can be done with ruler and compasses, can also be done with compasses alone. However, the priority to this result belongs to the Dane Georg Mohr, who published a proof already in 1672.

In his *Adnotationes ad calculum integrale Euleri* (1790) he published a calculation of what is now known as the Euler-Mascheroni constant.

He died in Paris.