Monday, October 3, 2011

Daniel Gardner

I've become obsessed, as of late, with the lesser-known artist Daniel Gardner.  Gardner is an interesting individual; anal-retentive by nature, his artwork, by contrast, is characterized by a freedom of brushstrokes and a dismissal of proportion rules.  Gardner had some training with Joshua Reynolds and may have even worked on some of the leafy backgrounds of some of Reynolds' work.  However his technique is all his own and a bit mysterious since he only allowed the sitter in the room with him while he painted and wouldn't allow them to see the work in progress.  He also is said to have been pretty experimental with his painting, even going through the woods picking up odds and to make shades of paint. The results of his short-lived career (he retired comfortably during the peak of it) are stunningly beautiful.  He can be characterized by his unique shades and creative group portraits.

Sir William Heathcote, Rev William Heathcote, and Major Gilbert out Hunting
Mary Unthoff
Albinia Countess of Buckinghamshire
The Taylor Family
Mrs A Clarke
Miss Elliott as Circe
Lord Halifax and his Secretaries
Emma Countess Tankerville with her Daughters
Mrs. Paul Prickett
Portrait of an Actress, 1775
Lady Auckland and her Daughter
Elizabeth Elstone
Elizabeth Farren later Countess of Derby
Lady Rushout with her Three Elder Children, c 1773-5
Lady Melbourne the Duchess of Devonshire and Anne Damer as the Witches from Macbeth, 1775
Self-Portrait, c 1770


  1. I've seen his paintings before at the MET. My mother was with me and gazed from these ladies to my (very Irish) face. "Oh look, dear, all these ladies suffered from rosacea too".

    Possibly so is all I can figure.

  2. I'm intrigued at the society ladies who chose to be painted as Circe and the Witches...


  3. I have never heard of him before. Really interesting.

  4. Exquisite portraits! I like him very much.

  5. Very nice moody self portrait, hmm what IS all that dark paint hiding?

  6. Great post! The paintings are so beautiful!

  7. He was a handsome bloke! I love the witches from Macbeth. That's wickedly funny.

  8. Dear Heather!
    What do you think about this Swede?
    Lorens Pasch the Younger

  9. I love Mrs. Paul Prickett, do you know what year it was done?

  10. now I am thinking his brushstrokes and color are wild, reminds me of an American painter but I can't recall which one. ohwell!

  11. Sadly no, Gardner was known to take notes on the back of paintings but rarely sign them. That's why I don't have the dates on many of them.

  12. Really really gorgeous! Thanks for introducing us to him :)

  13. I have received "At Home" by Bill Bryson and have chortled about half way through the book. Love it!!

  14. So glad you're enjoying it! But it's difficult not to

  15. I think this 18th century stlyed advert will amuse you.

  16. I write in relation to the portrait of Elizabeth Elstone. This painting is at present in my possession.I have some doubts as to its attribution to Daniel Gardner which was made by Christies. The whole character of the work seems out of keeping with the paintings on your page or others I have seen. The Elizabeth Elstone painting seems from a more mature hand. Daniel Gardner does not seem to have been active in the Bath area. A more likely candidate would probably be Gainsborough. The Elizabeth Elstone connection could be to do with mental health issues - Gainsborough's daughters suffered mental health problems and Gainsborough seems to have devoted much effort in seeking treatment for them and is known to have painted portraits in gratitude. This warrants more investigation which I have no time for at present. I hope this of interest.

  17. VERY interesting! Thank you so much for the info. There used to be many Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Hoppners attributed to him and now it has kind of flipped-flopped where he's being credited for their work. It's such messy business when these artists don't sign their work!

  18. turbaGreat selection of portraits! I am unfamiliar with Gardner and will now have to investigate him further!
    Thank you!

  19. Re all this nonesense about rosacea and rosy cheeks. I come from Britain, from the North, Lancashire and my Mum was Irish. Rosy cheeks were and are considered "normal" and healthy. Roascea is something different. Fair or light skinned folks from northern Europe very often have complexions that are rosy and red especially when it's cold or hot or you have been walking on the moors withthe wind howling. Look at all the paintings of the period and see the rosy cheeks some of which were painted on, they were considered desireable. Times have changed and now we feel or a re made to feel that our complexions are "wrong". Like the Dutchess of Devonshire they are very right. Loved all the pics I'm currently reading the book and really enjoying it. Thank-you

  20. Portraits by Daniel Gardner of my 4th great-grandmother and Grandfather are to go on sale on the 28 JANUARY 2016 | 10:00 AM EST at Sotheby's New York. If anyone is interested, please look at the following link