Known as the "Heroine of the Stono," as a young girl Mary Anna Gibbes rescued an infant cousin from her family's plantation while it was under seige by the British. She was the daughter of Robert Gibbes and his second wife, Sarah Reeves. In 1784, she married Major Alexander Garden (1757-1829), son of the noted physician and naturalist Dr. Alexander Garden, for whom the gardenia is named.
Buck was a native of Cork, Ireland, and painted miniature portraits and watercolors there and in Dublin until 1795 when he moved to London. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy and is best known for his work Painting on Greek Vases drawn and engraved by him and published in 1812. His portrait of Mrs. Garden, depicting her as an attractive young matron of thirty-six years, is a pleasing assemblage of curves and colors. The blue and white cameo-like buckle on her dress may relate to Buck's interest in antiquity.
This text is adapted from Martha Severens "The Miniature Portrait Collection of the Carolina Art Association" published by the Carolina Art Association, 1984