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GORDON, George Huntley, Major
[Original Watercolour View of Florence, Titled]: San Miniato and Porta St. Nicholo - Florence. March 1896.
March 1896. Watercolour and pencil on paper, ca. 25x35,5 cm (10x14 in). Mounted on cardboard, with a manuscript caption on the lower margin. A very good bright watercolour. This attractive watercolour view of Florence shows the embankment of the Arno with the medieval city gate Porta San Niccolo in the centre and the famous staircase leading to the basilica of San Miniato al Monte. The scene shows people and carriages crossing the central square where the gate stands (modern Piazza Giuseppe Poggi), several fishermen working on the low bank of the Arno; with distant city hills covered with cypresses and houses, and the silhouettes of the Apenninesto in the background. "Built in the 1320s, the best preserved of the city's medieval gates still stands sentinel on the banks of the Arno. Behind it, a monumental staircase designed by Giuseppe Poggi winds its way up towards Chiesa di San Miniato al Monte" (Lonely Planet about Porta San Niccolo). "San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain) is a basilica in Florence, central Italy, standing atop one of the highest points in the city. It has been described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most beautiful churches in Italy" (Wikipedia). The artist, George Huntley Gordon, an officer of the British Indian Army and a participant of the First Mahsud or Waziri Expedition on the North-West Frontier (1860).