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Field of the Cloth of Gold by Sir John Gilbert.


Field of the Cloth of Gold by Sir John Gilbert.

Depicts Henry VIII on his way to the Historic meeting with Francis I of France in 1520.
Item Code : DHM0385Field of the Cloth of Gold by Sir John Gilbert. - This Edition
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PRINT Open edition print.

Image size 24 inches x 16 inches (61cm x 41cm)noneHalf
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Other editions of this item : Field of the Cloth of Gold by Sir John Gilbert DHM0385
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PRINT Open edition print. Image size 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 20cm)noneAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!£14.00VIEW EDITION...
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Artist Details : Sir John Gilbert
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Sir John Gilbert

Sir John Gilbert

His father was a captain in the Royal East London Militia, but after this regiment was disbanded, became an estate-agent. John Gilbert started in this business but showed a talent for sketching, and submitted his first picture for exhibition at the age of nineteen. He was soon exhibiting at the Royal Academy and became a full academician in 1876. Five years earlier, he had been knighted. Gilbert was also a major illustrator of the nineteenth century and frequently contributed pictures to the Illustrated London News one of which depicted the Charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo. His interest in history led to numerous paintings, particularly water-colours of historic battles. The Civil War was a common theme in his output, and several important canvases exist: Waiting for the Ring: Marston Moor (Southgate Gallery of Wolverhampton), A Regiment of Royalist Cavalry, and Naseby (Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley), which was exhibited at Royal Academy in 1873. Similarly, the Crusades and the Middle Ages provided material for military pictures, e.g. The Morning of the Battle of Agincourt and Queen Margaret of Anjou taken prisoners after the Battle of Tewkesbury (both Guildhall Art Gallery), Crusaders an the March (water-colour in Victorian and Albert Museum), and The Battle of the Standard, Northallerton (water-colour in Guildhall Art Gallery; another version at Oldham Art Gallery). His canvas Edward 111 at the Siege of Calais was destroyed by enemy bombing when the Guildhall Art Gallery was hit. Reference: DNB; Spielman 1897; Oldcastle 1878

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The 16th Lancers were part of General Sir Harry Smith's army consisitng of the British and Bengali army of 12,000 men and 30 guns against the Sikh army of 30,000 men and 67 guns of Ranjodh Singh during the First Sikh War which was fought on the  28th January 1848 in the Punjab in the North West of India.  This painting depicts the 16th Lancers which were part of Brigadier Macdowell's brigade consisitng of the 16th Queen's Lancers, 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry and 4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry.  The 16th Lancers charged several times during the action, breaking a number of Sikh infantry squares and overrunning a battery of Sikh artillery.  The Lancers are shown wearing over their chapkas the white cotton cover which had been adopted for service in the tropics.

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<b>Ex display prints in near perfect condition. </b>

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 Ernst Barkmanns (Das Reich, 2nd SS Panzer Division) famous day long solo engagement against an American Armoured breakthrough towards St. Lo, Normandy, 26th July 1944.

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 The Battle of Aliwal was fought on 28th January 1846 between the British and the Sikhs.  The British were led by Sir Harry Smith, while the Sikhs were led by Ranjodh Singh Majithia.  The British won a victory which is sometimes regarded as the turning point of the First Anglo-Sikh War.  The Sikhs had occupied a position 4 miles (6.4 km) long, which ran along a ridge between the villages of Aliwal, on the Sutlej, and Bhundri.  The Sutlej ran close to their rear for the entire length of their line, making it difficult for them to manoeuvre and also potentially disastrous if they were forced to retreat.  After the initial artillery salvoes, Smith determined that Aliwal was the Sikh weak point.  He sent two of his four infantry brigades to capture the village, from where they could enfilade the Sikh centre.  They seized the village, and began pressing forwards to threaten the fords across the Sutlej.  As the Sikhs tried to swing back their left, pivoting on Bhundri, some of their cavalry tried to threaten the open British left flank.  A British and Indian cavalry brigade, led by the 16th Lancers, charged and dispersed them.  The 16th Lancers then attacked a large body of Sikh infantry.  These were battalions organised and trained in contemporary European fashion by Neapolitan mercenary, Paolo Di Avitabile.  They formed square to receive cavalry, as most European armies did.  Nevertheless, the 16th Lancers broke them, with heavy casualties.  The infantry in the Sikh centre tried to defend a nullah (dry stream bed), but were enfiladed and forced into the open by a Bengal infantry regiment, and then cut down by fire from Smith's batteries of Bengal Horse Artillery.  Unlike most of the battles of both Anglo-Sikh Wars, when the Sikhs at Aliwal began to retreat, the retreat quickly turned into a disorderly rout across the fords.  Most of the Sikh guns were abandoned, either on the river bank or in the fords, along with all baggage, tents and supplies.  They lost 2,000 men and 67 guns. <i><br><br>Comment from the artist, Jason Askew.</i><br><br>This painting shows the extremely violent and brutal clash between British cavalry (16th Lancers) and Sikh infantry at the battle of Aliwal.  The Sikh infantry formed 2 triangles, a version of the famous Allied/British squares used at Waterloo, but the Sikhs, after firing a ragged volley at the attacking horsemen, dropped their muskets and assaulted the cavalry with their traditional Tulwars (sabres) and dhal shields.  These shields are also used offensively, to punch, and to slice with the edge.  Although the British horsemen claimed a victory as they felt they successfully dispersed the Sikh triangles, and forced the Sikh infantry to retreat to the nullah (dry stream bed) in the Sikh rear, this opinion is open to debate.  The Sikhs traditionally fought in loose formations, with tulwar and shield-taking full advantage of their abilities as swordsmen, blades being weapons with which the Sikhs are particularly skilled in the use of.  The Sikhs actually inflicted more casualties on the 16th Lancers than the lancers inflicted on the Sikh infantry.  British eye witnesses spoke of the sight of the grotesquely swollen and distorted dead bodies of men and horses of the Her Majesty's 16th Lancers, stinking in the sun and littering the ground at Aliwal - testimony to the progress of their charge.  The regiment lost 27% of effectives out of a total strength of over 400 effectives.  The lancers were dreadfully hacked about, many being cruelly maimed for life, losing hands and limbs to the slashing strokes of the Sikh blades.  The Sikhs had no compassion for the cavalry horses either - many of the poor animals (over 100 by some accounts) had to be shot, due to having their legs hacked clean off, or being literally disemboweled by Sikh Tulwars.  In the painting, the central figure with the wizard-shaped Turban, is in fact an Akali - a sect of extremely religious Sikhs, who disdained the use of armour, and often fought to the death with a fanatical and suicidal devotion.

The Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew. (GS)
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