After studying briefly under Andrea Gastaldi at the Accademia Albertina in Turin, Giacomo Gandi continued his formation independently by making trips to Florence, Rome – where he settled around 1869 – and Parma. Having moved to Savigliano after 1874, he specialised in genre painting and watercolour in which he excuted two works for the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris. He participated in the national exhibitions in Milan in 1872, Turin in 1880 and 1884, Milan in 1881 and, two years later in the Rome Esposizione di Belle Arti. He also took part in the shows organised by the Società Promotrice di Belle Arti di Torino from 1870 to 1896, as well as those in Genoa, Florence and Naples. The great success of his painting inspired by the life of the common people began to decline towards the end of the century due to the changing tastes of collectors. However, he continued unstintingly to practise his art, albeit in the narrow environment of Savigliano, until the last years of his life when he was prevented from doing so by an eye disease.