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Elizabeth/Eliza 
Montgomery
1751 - 1783


Elizabeth/Eliza 
Montgomery
, eldest dau. A List of Irish Stockholders, 1779. Gardiner, Elizabeth aged 28 p. of St Michan, city Dublin. 1st d. of SIr William Montgomery of p. of St Mary, city Dublin, Bart by wife Hannah Tomkins. Is this the painting mentioned in the will of the Earl of Blessington? one of the three models chosen by Sir Joshua Reynolds for his painting of 'The Three Graces Decorating the Altar of Hymen'. (1773) Jonathan Jones Saturday October 14, 2000 The Guardian View the work online Artist: Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), founding President of the Royal Academy, propagator of neoclassical ideals in his Discourses on Art, portrait artist to the wealthy and powerful. "Such Artists as Reynolds are at all times Hired by the Satans for the Depression of Art," wrote Reynolds's more radical, less successful contemporary William Blake. Subject: Barbara, Elizabeth and Anne, the daughters of Sir William Montgomery of Macbie Hall, Peeblesshire, nicknamed the Irish Graces because they had grown up in Ireland. Elizabeth was engaged to the politician Luke Gardiner, who commissioned this picture. Distinguishing features: The women are caught in motion, in a rapturous dance; there is something self-enclosed about this threesome who are physically connected by the chain of flowers with which they are about to decorate a figure of the Greek god of marriage. Reynolds has contrived to make them at once alluring and classically forbidding; as worshippers of Hymen it is their nubility which is on display, but it is decorous. The sense of motion is what defines the painting; it creates the feeling they are linked in a common sensuality. They have wind-blown hair, ruddy cheeks. They are tough-looking; beneath the flouncy dresses and flowers there is a hint of steel in Anne, and an almost Romantic fury in Barbara. Elizabeth, to whom Gardiner was engaged, is the softest. Yet it's not individuality this painting is about so much as group identity, what they have in common: youth, beauty and wealth. Group portraits, sometimes called conversation pieces, were a distinctively British 18th-century genre as landed families, and sometimes the industrial rich, had themselves painted together, playing music or cards or drinking tea. The effect was to celebrate not individuals but the ruling class itself. The Three Ladies are of the same blue blood. Their strange garden rituals celebrate fecundity; they are preparing for their destined role as mothers of a new upper crust generation. Reynolds's painting states this with a hauteur miles away from the intimacy and idiosyncrasy we associate with British portraits. Reynolds made the British aristocratic portrait monumental; he argued in his Discourses on Art for an anti-naturalist, authoritative kind of painting - a mere copier of nature can never produce anything great - and what this noble ideal amounted to in his own practice was a new kind of grand portrait, of which this is a glorious example. These women act as if it were perfectly natural for them to go and worship the god of marriage in the garden, where the stone Hymen recedes mysteriously into the shadows. They have even made a burnt offering on the altar; aristocratic marriage, the picture suggests, is a rite. Inspirations and influences: Although it aspires to the severe and neoclassical this painting's woodland fantasy owes a lot to rococo genius Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), whose dreamy, almost surrealist, visions of lovers in woodlands provided art with a new iconography of desire. The late 18th-century preoccupation with grandeur in portraits was not confined to the British aristocracy, and the kind of dramatic portrait Reynolds specialised in became a political weapon in the hands of the French revolutionary artist Jacques-Louis David (1784-1825); David's painting of the murdered Marat in his bath is an extension of what began as a society portrait genre. Today Sam Taylor-Wood's panoramic photographs of people posing in affluent interiors echo the way Reynolds portrayed the ruling class.

Born: 4th May 1751Baptised:
Died: Dublin, Ireland 7th Nov 1783 Buried: St Thomas, Dublin, Ireland 25th Nov 1783
Family:
Montgomery

Ancestors
[ Patrilineage | Matrilineage | Earliest Ancestors | Force | Force2 | Options ]

1.
Elizabeth/Eliza 
Montgomery
(
Gardiner
) 1751 - 1783
2.
Sir William 
Montgomery
(
Evatt
,
Tomkyns
,
Evatt
) + post 1779
4.
 
3.
Hannah 
Tomkyns
(
Montgomery
)
6.
 

Siblings


1.
Barbara 
Montgomery
(
Beresford
) c. 1753 - 1788
2.
Anne 
Montgomery
(
Townshend
) c. 1754 - post 1780
3.
Sir George 
Montgomery
c. 1765 - 1831
4.
Mary 
Montgomery
1766 - post 1779
5.
Jane 
Montgomery
(
Reynell
) 1768 - post 1791
6.
Harriet 
Montgomery
(
Byng
) 1773 - post 1797
7.
Amelia 
Montgomery
(
Beresford
) c. 1775 - 1839

Spouses



1. Dublin, Ireland 3rd Jul 1773
Luke 
Gardiner
(
Montgomery
,
Wallis
) 1745 - 1798

Descendants
[ Options ]

a.
Luke 
Gardiner
(
Montgomery
,
Wallis
) 1745 - 1798
1.
Louisa 
Gardiner
(
Fowler
) 1773 - 1848
1a.
Rt. Rev. Robert 
Fowler
(
Gardiner
) c. 1767 - 1841
1.1.
Robert 
Fowler
(
Crichton
,
Butler
) 1797 - 1868
1.2.
Luke 
Fowler
1799 - 1876
2.
Florinda 
Gardiner
1774 - 1786
3.
Harriet 
Gardiner
1776 - 1849
4.
Caroline 
Gardiner
c. 1777 - 1782
5.
Emily 
Gardiner
c. 1777 - 1788
6.
Luke 
Gardiner
1780 - 1781
7.
Charles John 
Gardiner
(
MacDougall
,
Power
) 1782 - 1829
7a.
Mary Campbell 
MacDougall
(
Power
,
Browne
,
Gardiner
) 1786 - 1814
7.1.
Charles John 
Stewart Gardiner
(
Doak
) 1810 - post 1864
7.2.
Lady Emilie (Mary) Rosalie Hamilton 
Gardiner
(
Whyte
) 1811 - post 1831
7.3.
Lady Harriet Anne Jane Frances 
Gardiner
(
de Grimaud
,
Cowper
) 1812 - 1869 ...
7.4.
Luke Wellington 
Gardiner
1813 - 1823
8.
Elizabeth 
Gardiner
1783 - 1791
Sources

Timeline


4th May 1751Born
3rd Jul 1773Married
Luke 
Gardiner
(
Montgomery
,
Wallis
) 1745 - 1798 Dublin, Ireland
7th Nov 1783Died Dublin, Ireland
25th Nov 1783Buried Dublin, Ireland
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