Catalogue entry

Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788

T00726 Mrs Susanna Gardiner circa 1780–85

Not inscribed.
Canvas, 29¾ x 24¾ (75.5 x 63) in painted oval, 28 x 24 (71 x 61).
Presented by Miss Marjorie Gainsborough Gardiner 1954, with life interest; entered the collection 1965.
Coll: Family descent through the sitter’s son (or grandson), the Rev. Gainsborough Gardiner; his son the Rev. Edward R. Gardiner, father of the donor.
Exh: National Art Treasures Exhibition, Folkestone, 1886 (844, as by Dupont), lent by the Rev. E. R. Gardiner.
Lit: Mrs. Arthur Bell, Thomas Gainsborough, 1897, p. 67.

Gainsborough’s youngest sister Susanna married a Mr. Gardiner and settled in Bath. This portrait is not listed by Ellis Waterhouse. According to Mrs. Bell (loc. cit.) it ‘was until recent years supposed to have been painted by Gainsborough Dupont. Mr. W. P. Frith, R.A., however, who saw it at the Folkestone Exhibition said that he would stake his reputation on its being the work of Gainsborough himself for no other artist could have painted it.’ John Hayes suggested that it must be of later date than Accession No. T00727, but accepts it as a work of Gainsborough. Both Nos. T00726 and T00727 are said to be in their original frames.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.