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Mr and Mrs Andrews

Mr and Mrs Andrews is an oil-on-canvas painting by English artist Thomas Gainsborough, painted around 1750. It is a conversation piece, a genre of art in which a group of subjects are shown with other elements and activities. The subjects of the picture are Robert Andrews, a member of the landed gentry from the town of Bulmer in Essex, depicted in a loose hunting coat, as well as his wife, Frances Andrews (née Carter), a woman from the same parish, depicted in an informal summer suit with a straw hat. The couple are shown in a landscape near their estate, Auberies, in Bulmer Tye.

The work is unusual for an outdoor conversation piece, in that the background setting is agricultural, rather than the gardens of the subjects' own houses. This may have been motivated by Gainsborough's love of landscape painting, as well as the couple's desire to make a more prominent display than was normal in a portrait of the country estate that had formed part of Mrs Andrews's dowry. The painting remained in the Andrews family until 1960 and was very little known before it appeared in an exhibition in Ipswich in 1927, after which it was regularly requested for other exhibitions in Britain and abroad, while also praised by critics for its charm and freshness. It now hangs in the National Gallery in London.

Painting credit: Thomas Gainsborough

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