Gerolamo Induno (Italian, 1827-1890) Lettera dello Zuavo

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Lot 28
Gerolamo Induno
(Italian, 1827-1890)
Lettera dello Zuavo

£ 20,000 - 30,000
US$ 26,000 - 39,000
Gerolamo Induno (Italian, 1827-1890)
Lettera dello Zuavo
signed and dated 'Gero. Induno 1864' (lower right); bears inscription (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
65.7 x 53cm (25 7/8 x 20 7/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, Italy.

    Born in Milan, Gerolamo Induno was both an artist and a revolutionary soldier, fighting in some of the earliest skirmishes of the Italian War of Independence alongside his brother Domenico, and later at Crimea, where he served with the Bersaglieri corps.

    Much of Induno's artistic output reflected his military experience, and he produced numerous sketches while serving as a soldier. In works such as The Battle of Magenta and The Wounded Garibaldi after the Battle of Aspromonte, Induno created a patriotic narrative of the birth of modern Italy, and he was regarded by Garibaldi as the official recorder of Italian unification.

    In the years following unification, Induno's output became more diverse, his subjects including historical genre and interiors, and he began to exhibit his work to a wider European audience.

    The Zoaves were originally a class of light infantry regiments of the French Army, serving from the 1830s. The origins of the regiment lay in French North Africa, with recruits from the Zwawa, a tribe of Berbers from the Jurjura mountains of Algeria; the recruitment pool was soon expanded to include other African, Arab and European volunteers. By the 1860s, the term had become more broadly used, and many countries had units of 'zouaves' within its military.

    In the present lot, the soldier standing in the foreground wears the uniform of the French zoaves, who were used as light infantry during the Franco-Austria war of 1859; also known as the Second Italian War of Independence, the French victory against the Austrian Kingdom played a crucial role in the process of Italian Unification. The other soldier appears to be wearing the uniform of the Bersaglieri, an infantry corps, renowned for their fast running pace in battle, who were used as skirmishers throughout the 19th century.
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