Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gardner, Daniel

GARDNER, DANIEL (1750?–1805), portrait painter, born at Kendal about 1750, came to London as a boy, and became a student of the Royal Academy. He attracted the notice of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and for a time became fashionable for his small portraits done in oil or crayons. They showed great elegance in composition, and a delicate perception of beauty; Hayley in his poems pays tribute to his taste and ease. Thomas Watson engraved several of his portraits in mezzotint, among them being ‘Frances, Countess of Jersey,’ ‘Sir William Meredith, Bart.,’ ‘the children of Grey Cooper, Esq.,’ ‘Rebecca, Lady Rushout, and her children;’ also ‘Abelard’ and ‘Heloise’ (companion engravings), ‘Circe,’ ‘Maria,’ &c. Among other engravings from Gardner's pictures were ‘Mrs. Gwyn and Mrs. Bunbury (the Horneck sisters) as the Merry Wives of Windsor’ by W. Dickinson, ‘Mrs. Swinburne’ by W. Doughty, ‘George Simon Harcourt, Visct. Nuneham,’ by V. Green, ‘Charles, Marquess Cornwallis,’ by J. Jones, and others. Gardner only exhibited once at the Royal Academy, in 1771. Having realised some property by his art he retired from practice. He died in Warwick Street, Golden Square, 8 July 1805, aged 55. Two portraits and a family group were exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1888–9 by Mr. A. Anderdon Weston. Gardner also etched in 1778 a plate from a portrait by Hoppner of Philip Egerton, esq., of Oulton.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Grosvenor Gallery Catalogue, 1888–9; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.