Born in Senigallia, Gabani studied first with Cesare Maccari and Giuseppe Raggio and then specialized mainly in history paintings, as well as landscapes, animals and particularly horses. He is also known for his Orientalist subjects, the majority of which include equine subjects. Between 1866 and 1870 Gabani served with the IV Cavalry. In 1866, he came to the public's attention with his painting Count Baratieri at the head of his regiment, 24 June 1866.
In 1880, he was invited by Brugnoli to paint part of a mural for ceiling of the Teatro Costanzi (now the Teatro dell'Opera) in Rome. He received considerable acclaim for his painting Cavalli nella campagna, exhibited in Berlin in 1880 and in 1884 his large-scale history painting Carica del Genova Cavalleria was very well received in Turin. He also exhibited in Venice. At the exhibition in Melbourne he was given the silver medal. He died in Rome on 12 October 1900.