Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Thew Smirke Conjugal

Robert Thew after Robert Smirke.

Conjugal Affection.

24 x 19 inches

A large-scale stipple plate engraving by Robert Thew after the painting by Robert Smirke, published in London in 1799.

In Smirke and Thew we have two artists who were at the top of their game and who had received recognition for their accomplishments from on high. Robert Smirke was a member of the Royal Academy whilst Thew had been appointed as engraver to the Prince of Wales. To add yet more credibility to this print the work is dedicated to none other that "Their Most Excellent Majesties King George III & Queen Charlotte". Let us not forget that in 1799 the king had already suffered his first bouts of an illness that would dominate the latter stages of his reign. It was of huge political and social importance that the royal family was perceived to be secure so this image of domestic harmony sent out a very clear message of national stability and morality. One can only wonder what the profligate Prince of Wales made of its meaning and what would have happened if he had heeded the implication of marital fidelity!

The message is plain: domestic harmony brings happiness and prosperity. The father of the piece (a dashing cove), clearly a successful businessman judging by his workforce seen toiling away through the window, is accompanied by a dutiful wife who is busy with her sewing basket and three adorable children who amuse themselves in studious and innocent pursuits.

£1100

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