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

Support: White laid paper

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

Severance and Greta Millikin Trust 2011.193

Location

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This pastel was presumably commissioned from Daniel Gardner by the children's father, who was himself the subject of a portrait by the artist.

Description

Daniel Gardner built a lucrative career that was based on fashionable portraiture, especially small-scale works in pastel, often in oval formats with landscape backgrounds. Executed in this format, this portrait is one of many by the artist that depicted children, his primary subjects. Here, the young Cropley Ashley-Cooper, later the 6th Earl of Shaftesbury, gazes fondly at his older sister, Mary Anne, who holds his hand and encircles his shoulders in close affection. Gardner took advantage of the special optical properties of pastel, whose minute, irregular particles reflect light diffusely, allowing an unparalleled velvety brilliance.

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