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17th Lancers - Attributed to Henry Martens

Ex: Parker Gallery, Albermarle Street, London

Oil on canvas. Mounted officer and troopers in review order, to the fore a spaniel ‘en courant’ three further officers, two in review order another in undress uniform to the right. A similar work by Martens described as ‘British Officers. 17th Lancers, Review Order. About 1828’ is in the Royal Collection RCIN 916479.

During the reign of William IV (1830-37), the British light cavalry were re-uniformed from their traditional blue to red. The King, though a sailor himself, believed that red was the national military colour and that the Army should be dressed accordingly.

Henry Martens (fl.1825-1865) enjoyed a successful career as artist creating military themed, historical and contemporary works for the Anglo-German lithographer and publisher Rudolf Ackmermann who ran the Eclipse Sporting Gallery at 191 Regent Street. He is best known works were engraved by John Harris and published by Ackermann in ‘Costumes of the British Army’ between 1849 and 1853. Martens worked mainly in watercolour although he exhibited a few oils at various galleries including the British Institution and the Society of British Artists.

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