Ann Gardiner with Her Eldest Son, Kirkman

Ann Gardiner with Her Eldest Son, Kirkman

Nathaniel Hone, Irish, 1718-1784
Born: Dublin, Ireland
Work Locations: England, Italy
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

Nathaniel Hone 
British, 1718–1784
Ann Gardiner with Her Eldest Son, Kirkman, 1776 
Oil paint on canvas
Signed at lower left, N. Hone p.t 1776., and upper right, curving around window, N. Hone p.t 1776. 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2019.16

This object is currently on view
image height: 49 in, 124.4600 cm; image width: 39 1/4 in, 99.6950 cm; frame height: 59 1/8 in, 150.1775 cm; frame width: 49 1/4 in, 125.095 cm; frame depth: 3 3/4 in, 9.525 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

Born in Dublin to Dutch parents, Nathaniel Hone studied in Italy and was a founding member of London’s Royal Academy. This portrait of Ann Gardiner (born 1746), daughter of the prominent Irish politician Charles Gardiner, and her son Kirkman is an example of Hone’s “fancy” pictures, paintings that represented their subjects as allegorical, mythological, or biblical figures. Here his sitters recall images of the Madonna and Child, while the boy’s togalike garment and the classical column in the background allude to images of Venus and Cupid from Greek mythology. 

Known Provenance
Horace Ayerst Buttery, London, by 1954; his estate sale, Christie’s, London, June 28, 1963, lot 70; from which acquired by Mr. Roberts; sale, Sotheby’s, London, May 21, 1998, lot 232; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2019. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018