Young Husband: First Marketing

Lilly Martin Spencer American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 758

Spencer portrayed the unvarnished reality of male-female relationships in this painting, which chronicles the travails of early married life. Here, the unseen young wife is not in full command of her kitchen, having sent her young husband out to procure the groceries—a task for which he is evidently not qualified. Using her own husband as a model, Spencer depicted the man stumbling down the street and attempting to hold on to the items in his overflowing basket, attracting gazes from at least one onlooker and suffering a public humiliation. Spencer depicted in humorous terms a real social anxiety of the time: that of setting up a household and running it efficiently.

#4571. Young Husband: First Marketing

Young Husband: First Marketing, Lilly Martin Spencer (1822–1902), Oil on canvas, American

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