Cropley Ashley-Cooper (Later 6th Earl of Shaftesbury) with His Sister Mary Anne Ashley-Cooper, Later Lady Sturt of Crichel

Cropley Ashley-Cooper (Later 6th Earl of Shaftesbury) with His Sister Mary Anne Ashley-Cooper, Later Lady Sturt of Crichel

c. 1776

Daniel Gardner

(British, c. 1750-1805)

Pastel with black and red chalk and graphite

Sheet: 50.7 x 40.2 cm (19 15/16 x 15 13/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Trust 2011.193

Description

Gardner was last in the line of 18th-century British artists—beginning with Francis Cotes and reaching its zenith with Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and George Romney-whose lucrative careers were based on fashionable portraiture. Initially trained by Romney, Gardner established a successful portrait practice that was based on small-scale works in pastel, often in oval formats with landscape backgrounds, as in this drawing. Gardner was particularly adept at capturing the charm of youth, taking advantage of the special optical properties of pastel, whose minute, irregular particles reflect light diffusely, allowing an unparalleled velvety brilliance.

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