G. D. Giles (British, 1857-1923) is a well-known listed artist. His artwork brings excellent prices, such as through Bonhams, a watercolor was sold for over $3700.00. In 1994 an oil was sold at Christies for over $47,000.00. Christies had a great deal of information in their listing. We will put just a bit of what was in Christies listing at the end of our listing. I believe the description of their painting fits ours as well.
Country of Origin: England.
Title: First Royal Dragoons.
Signed/Dated: Lower Right.
Size: 8 1/4" by 6 1/4"; Framed 12 1/8" by 12 3/8"
Condition: Very Good Antique Condition. Please excuse the glare from the flash on the glass.
Provenance: Property from the Estate of Ann T. Downey, Palm Beach, Florida
More about the artist (from Christies):
Art Journal 1887, p. 277 Peter Harrington, British Artists and War: The Face of Battle in Paintings and Prints 17001914, 1993, pl.19 Colonel Sir Percival Marling, Bt, V.C., C.B., Rifleman and Hussar, 1931, repr. p.110
London, Royal Academy, 1887, no. 486 Military Exhibition, 1890, no. 1114
The general public's perception of war in the nineteenth century was based upon its depiction in the paintings that lined the walls of institutions such as the Royal Academy. Certainly in the first half of the nineteenth century the average British citizen would have had only a vague idea of the horrors of battle. Not since 1746 had the British Isles experienced armed conflict at first hand, and even then it was a limited and regional experience. The public understanding of war was generally that it was a gentlemanly affair that was often a positive and uplifting event; rarely was it depicted as anything approaching reality.
Our picture is a rare example of the work of the war artist Major Godfrey Douglas Giles. Giles set himself apart from other military artists whose images of battle were based on preconceived ideas and traditional images of war. He was attached to the Egyptian Gendarmerie and experienced action in the Sudan at first hand. Giles's depictions of El Teb and Tamai provided the British public with an unbiased image of war that avoided sensationalism and captured the true essence of the campaign that was being fought.
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