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 Gianni, Girolamo (Italian artist, 1837-1895) , 10th (Duke of Cambridge

Core Record

Title 10th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) regiment (Lancers) [Bengal Cavalry], Malta 1878
Collection National Army Museum, London
Artist Gianni, Girolamo (Italian artist, 1837-1895) 
Date 1878 (dated)
Signed yes
Description The British government, fearful of an increase in the influence of Russia in Central Asia after their victories over the Turks, sent two regiments of native cavalry and six of infantry with supporting artillery, sappers and miners to Malta. The troops, under the command of Major-General John Ross, arrived in May 1878 for just two months. This was the first time that Indian troops were used in Europe. This work shows men from the 10th Bengal Lancers, serving with the 9th Bengal Cavalry. Gianni is considered to be the most important topographer of the Maltese Islands in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Current Accession Number NAM. 1967-07-38
Inscription front ll 'G. Gianni 1878'
Subject figure; landscape; animal (horse); still life; history (Indian Cavalry Camp, Malta, 1878); military and war; everyday life; place (Malta)
Measurements 23 x 18 cm (estimate)
Material oil on millboard
Acquisition Details Purchased from the Parker Gallery 1967.
Provenance Sotheby's, London, 10 June 1964, lot 177 as A Sikh Cavalryman; purchased at auction by Mr Sidler.
Principal Exhibitions Soldiers of the Raj, National Army Museum, London, 1997-1999, cat. no. 165.
Publications Soldiers of the Raj, National Army Museum, London, 1997, cat. no. 165, p. 267, ill.; Piro de, N., The International Dictionary of Artists who Painted Malta, Italy, 1998, pp. 105-8.
Notes The Ulan reference gives a number of names for Gianni, however, the International Dictionary of Artists who Painted Malta, Italy, 1998 states that the signature used in this work is that of Girolamo Gianni. He was born in Naples in 1837 but spent 23 years of his life in Malta. His works are very collectable, especially amongst the Maltese themselves. Gianni's earliest pictures date from 1867 and he is now known to have been painting as late as 1896. It is possible that he was working as late as 1903 when an advert appears for his work. He is known to have painted other works from this campaign, including Indian Expeditionary Force, Malta - Infantry Camp at the Lazaretto (1878, United Services & Royal Aero Club).
Rights Owner Courtesy of the Council, National Army Museum
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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