- Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 622 x 502 mm
- Presented by Miss Marjorie Gainsborough Gardiner 1965
Not on display
Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
T00727 Edward Richard Grdiner circa 1760–68
Canvas, 24½ x 19¾. (69 x 50) in painted oval.
Presented by Miss Marjorie Gainsborough Gardiner 1954, with life interest; entered the collection 1965.
Coll: Family descent, see No. T00726.
Exh: R.A., Old Masters, 1871 (154) and Grosvenor
Gallery, summer 1885 (132), lent to both by the Rev. Edward Richard Gardiner.
Lit: Mrs. Arthur Bell, Thomas Gainsborough, 1897, p. 67, repr. facing p. 68; Sir Walter Armstrong, Gainsborough, 1898, p. 196; 2nd ed. 1904, pp. 164 and 266; Ellis Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958, p. 70, No. 300.
Repr: Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, Gainsborough, 1903, between pp. 116 and 117.
The sitter was the son of Susanna, Gainsborough’s youngest sister (see No. T00726) and was the great-uncle or grandfather of the Rev. Edward Richard Gardiner (son of the Rev. Gainsborough Gardiner), who bequeathed the two portraits, Nos. T00726 and T00727 to his daughter, the donor. A portrait of the sitter’s sister, Susan Gardiner, by Gainsborough is in the Paul Mellon Collection. The boy in No. T00727 appears to be wearing the same costume as Jonathan Buttall, ‘The Blue Boy’, now in the Himtington Collection, San Marino, California. Mrs. Arthur Bell, who may have known the Rev. Edward Richard Gardiner, wrote (loc. cit.) that the portrait of the artist’s nephew ‘who was constantly in and out of the studio as a boy of twelve, is especially interesting, as the child wears a blue dress and his uncle is supposed to have chosen to paint it as a trial of colour before he attempted the famous “Blue Boy”. Mrs. Bell dates the portrait 1767–68, but John Hayes suggests an earlier date, circa 1760–65, and Ellis Waterhouse (loc. cit.) describes it as probably late Ipswich period. Armstrong, 1898 (loc. cit.), states that the portrait was signed, but this is not now visible.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.