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Daniel Gardner, 1750–1805

Mrs. Justinian Casamajor and Eight of her Children

Materials & Techniques:
Gouache, pastel and oil on moderately thick, slightly textured, brown laid paper mounted to linen
Sheet: 31 1/2 × 38 inches (80 × 96.5 cm), Frame: 38 x 44 1/2 x 2 inches (96.5 x 113 x 5.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
children | dog (animal) | feather | flowers | mother | portrait | ram
Associated People:
Casamajor, Mary (nee Grant)
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IIIF Manifest:

Daniel Gardener has a successful portrait practice catering to aristocratic and middle-class clientele. Although primarily known as a pastellist and watercolorist, Gardner also worked from the mid 1770s in an unorthodox combination of oil media, gouache, and pastel. This technique, which he used for cat. 9, presumably was intended to replicate the textures and density of oil painting, while retaining the brilliancy of color associated with pastel. Gardner's brief period as an assistant in Joshua Reynolds studio clearly had a lasting influence; demonstrating Reynold's conception of historical portraiture, Gardner's work uses poses and compositional patterns derived from antique sources and the works of Old Masters. The portrait of Mrs. Justinian Casamajor with eight of her children is a fine example of Gardner's small-scale Grand Manner portraiture. In this ambitious drawing the mother is depicted as an allegorical figure of Charity, presumably in allusion to her astonishing fecundity (the Casamajors, a landed Hertfordshire family, reportedly had no fewer than twenty-two children); the group of children with a ram on the left is suggestive of a bacchanalian procession, rather than incongruously, and probably derives from a Renaissance or antique model.

Gillian Forrester

Wilcox, Forrester, O'Neil, Sloan. The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2001. pg. 25, cat. no. 9, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-05-19 - 2001-08-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

The Conversation Piece - Arthur Devis & His Contemporaries (Yale Center for British Art, 1980-10-01 - 1980-11-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

English Portrait Drawings & Miniatures (Yale Center for British Art, 1979-12-05 - 1980-02-17) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Cassandra Albinson, Thomas Lawrence, Regency power & brilliance , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2010, p. 61, fig. 52, NJ18 L42 T56 2010 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & his contemporaries, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 28, 76, cat. no. 64, fig. 21, NJ18 D5151 D64 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Iveagh Bequest, Daniel Gardner, 1750-1805 : [catalogue of an exhibition held at] Kenwood, Iveagh Bequest, 16th May-26th June, Greater London Council, London, 1972, no. 32, NJ18 .G1972 I83 (LC) YCBA [ORBIS]

Patrick Noon, English Portrait Drawings & Miniatures, Yale Center for British Art, 1979, pp. 75-77, no. 80, NC772 N66+ (Wall Shelf) (YCBA) [YCBA]

Mario Praz, Conversation Pieces : A Survey of the Informal Group Portrait in Europe and America, , Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, University Park, 1971, p. 152, fig. 114, ND1304 +P713 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Scott Wilcox, Line of beauty : British drawings and watercolors of the eighteenth century, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, pp. 24-25, no. 9, NC228 W53 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

George Charles Williamson, Daniel Gardner, painter in pastel and gouache : A brief account of his life and works, John Lane, London and New York, 1921, pp. 16, 67, 70-71, 132-133, NJ18 .G1972 W5 (LC)+ Oversize YCBA [ORBIS]

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