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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Attributed to Andrew Benjamin Lens, circa 1775 Luke Gardiner"
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Dimensions: oval, 1 7/8 inches high
Luke was the son of Charles Gardiner by his wife Florinda, daughter of Robert Norman. On 3 July 1773 he married Elizabeth, daughter of William Montgomery, an MP for Ballynakill and later a Baronet. Their daughter Margaret, later became Countess of Donoughmore by marrying John Hely-Hutchinson, 3rd Earl of Donoughmore, the nephew of the 2nd Earl of Donoughmore. Lady Charlotte Wolfe, (nee Hutchinson) who previously owned this miniature was a sister of the 2nd Earl of Donoughmore. Luke's son, Charles became 2nd Earl of Blessington and married as his second wife the famous authoress Marguerite whose Journal of Conversations with Lord Byron — one of the most popular books of the day, appeared in 1832. From 1773 to 1789 Luke represented Dublin County in the Irish House of Commons. He was appointed to the Irish Privy Council on 29 December 1780 and created Baron Mountjoy on 19 September 1789 and Viscount Mountjoy on 30 September 1795, both in the Peerage of Ireland. He was killed in action at the age of 53, whilst leading his regiment at the rebellion at Vinegar Hill at the Battle of New Ross. Musgrave says in his Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland, 1801 that : "His public and private virtues made him an object of general esteem. He was possessed of high mental endowments, being an elegant scholar and a good public speaker. He had the gentlest manners and the mildest affections, warm and sincere friendship, and was so benevolent and humane that he never harboured revenge." The Battle of Vinegar Hill was an engagement during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 when over 15,000 British soldiers launched an attack on Vinegar Hill outside Enniscorthy, County Wexford, the largest camp and headquarters of the Wexford United Irish rebels. It marked a turning point in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, as it was the last attempt by the rebels to hold and defend ground against the British military. The battle was actually fought in two locations: on Vinegar Hill itself and in the streets of nearby Enniscorthy. Lady Charlotte Wolfe (nee Hutchinson), who once owned the miniature, was one of four sisters of the 2nd Earl of Donoughmore. The 2nd Earl was born John Hely-Hutchinson in 1757 and succeeded Sir Ralph Abercromby in command of the British Army in Egypt. He succeeded his elder brother Richard as Earl of Donoughmore in 1825. Lady Charlotte Wolfe Married The Rev Richard Wolfe, 1831 and died 1870 The sitter is informally portrayed wearing his own house cap instead of a wig and a banyan or dressing gown with open neck shirt. The fashionable informality is in keeping with the mid 18th century taste and acts as a contrast with the more formal portrait by Reynolds taken in 1773. The stipple approach is characteristic of all the Lens family miniatures.