Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico




Spanish Colonial School, 18th Century 

A Mounted Spanish Dignitary with Two Mounted Military Officers Viewing the City of Syracuse, Sicily from a Port Fortress 

Date: circa 1750


Historical note

The Spanish dignitary and two officers have not been identified. The city of Syracuse had been leveled by an earthquake in 1693 and was rebuilt during the 18th century.

This extremely rare view documenting Spanish occupation of Sicily shows Syracuse largely redeveloped with notable architectural features carefully depicted.


Medium: Oil on Copper


Dimensions: 8 3/8 x 11 3/16 inches


Unsigned, no inscriptions


Consulting Scholar

Dr. Marcus Burke, Hispanic Society, New York, 1999



Fred Hummert Picture Gallery, San Antonio, Texas, circa 1890 (from old backing sticker)

E. B. Chandler Collection, San Antonio, circa 1890 and by descent in the Chandler family until 1998.

Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1998 (discovered, researched, and attributed by Fred R. Kline)

Private Collection, Boston 1999



Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe. "A Rare Spanish Colonial View of Syracuse, Sicily, 1750".  Spring 1999.



"Spanish Colonial School, 18th CenturyA Mounted Spanish Dignitary with Two Mounted Military Officers Viewing the City of Syracuse, Sicily from a Port Fortress": from 2000  


Historical note

From 1734 to 1799, a chaotic period in European history, the island of Sicily, and the ancient Greek city of Syracuse, was ruled by the Bourbon kings of Spain, a rule which began in 1734 when the Spanish army defeated the then ruling Habsburgs of Austria.

Don Carlos ruled the Kingdom of Naples-Sicily as Charles VII, and when he succeeded to the Spanish throne as Charles III in 1759, he gave this kingdom to his son Ferdinand who came of age in 1767. In 1768, Ferdinand married the Austrian arch-duchess Maria Carolina who quickly took over governmental affairs.

Maria Carolina promoted the rise to power of English émigré Sir John Acton in the 1770's, and from the period 1779-1780's officially aligned Naples-Sicily with Austria and Britain. In the 1790's the kingdoms were still allied in their struggle against Revolutionary France. This first Bourbon period in Naples-Sicily ended in 1799 when Napoleon's forces occupied the mainland portion of the kingdom.



Sold to a distinguished private collection, Boston


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