Mr and Mrs Andrews c.1748
by Thomas Gainsborough
Original: Oil on canvas, 698 x 1.194 cm
London National Gallery
The original Mr and Mrs Andrews was painted in a time when England was basking in its glory, queen of many colonies and a world leader in technology.
Portrait / landscape combinations were popular.
This painting is a reflection of the Andrews' success as land owners surrounded by the fields of this success.
This is a typical landscape of the time, a romantic, idealized setting with stormy horizon and golden harvest.
The hint of a smirk on Mrs Andrews polite, well-to-do face prompted me to paint this scene of what happened next.
All is not as perfect in domestic rural bliss as we are led to believe. There is underlying termoil.
In a rash moment of insanity Mrs Andrews snapped. She grabbed her husband's gun, shot him and stuffed him quickly behind the garden seat to regain her demure composure for the painter.
But alas, the master's hungry dog gives the scene away as it greedily laps up the pooling blood.
Gainsborough painted oaks, which symbolise the couple's aim to found a dynasty through their union.
I painted the oaks leafless and dead to show what Mrs Andrews thought of this idea.