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Creator Daniel Gardner, 1750–1805, British
Title Mrs. Justinian Casamajor and Eight of her Children
Date 1779
Medium Gouache, pastel and oil on moderately thick, slightly textured, brown laid paper mounted to linen
Dimensions 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
Accession Number B1981.25.307
Collection Prints and Drawings
Curatorial Comment 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 [B1981.25.307], 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, 2001-05
Link to This Record
People Represented or Subject • Casamajor, Mary (nee Grant)
Subject Terms children | dog (animal) | feather | flowers | mother | portrait | ram

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

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

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