Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of Robert and Frances Mary Carter is a famous painting. The painting is a portrait of a young married couple, and it has become a popular subject of art history. The painting features a phallic symbol, hidden in the background, as well as jabs at the Andrews family. This painting is also notable for depicting two donkeys, which could be interpreted as metaphors for newlyweds.
Robert Andrews and Frances Mary Carter
In the early 1750s, Robert Andrews, the son of a rich man, took over his father’s business after his father died. The couple were married on 10 November 1748 in Sudbury, Essex. Frances was sixteen years old at the time. Her father owned property and businesses, and their house, Ballingdon Hall, was located over the River Stour in Essex.
Frances Mary Carter was born and raised in Bulmer parish, Essex. At the age of 15, she was betrothed to Robert Andrews. In their marriage, Robert and Frances Mary were twenty and sixteen, respectively. Frances Mary Carter was the daughter of a drapery owner and a ward of a wealthy family. Their wealth was derived from real estate investments and high interest loans.
Their dress for Mr and Mrs Andrews by Tom Gainsborough captures a romantic moment in life. A portrait of an elegant couple celebrating a wedding is often associated with wealth and class, but the dress here is anything but ordinary. A young Gainsborough was just twenty years old and painted the couple while they were still quite poor. However, the painting depicts them as if they were living the high life.
Their pose in Mr and Mrs Andrews by Tom Gainsborough is a classic example of the traditional genre portrait. The couple is seated on a large, ornate Rococo-style bench, while sheep graze to the right of them. The couple is dressed in their best clothes and seem doll-like in their blue skirt and pointed silver shoes. Although Gainsborough painted these portraits in his studio, he probably used tailor’s dummies to capture their appearance. In addition, the landscape surrounding the Andrews estate provides a nice backdrop for the couple to pose.
The topography of the landscape
The topography of the landscape of Mr and Miss Andrews by Thomas Gainsborough is a good example of the first great British landscapist’s work. This 18th-century landscape painter translated Dutch traditions into his East Anglian style. The scene of green grass in the foreground and the flowing surface of the water are evidence of the influence of the Dutch.
The significance of the painting to Gainsborough
The portrait of Mr and Mrs Andrews is a classic example of the artist’s early work. This painting shows male dominance and female submissiveness. Its subject matter was the 1700s, and it demonstrates the cultural attitudes of the time. Women, nature, and the outdoors were valued by Europeans. Gainsborough’s painting of Mr and Mrs Andrews shows this.
The effect of the topography to Gainsborough
Although it is not possible to see the exact topography of the landscape in Gainsborough’s Mr and Mrs Andrew, we can get a general idea of the topography of the area. The two towers of the local churches, All Saints in Sudbury and Long Melford, are visible. The two blocks of woodland are also visible, although these viewpoints differ slightly from each other. The landscape of Gainsborough’s Mr and Mrs Andrews is the result of a prevailing realism.