An accomplished artist, Matthew Robinson was a gentleman Commoner of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1712, he married Elizabeth Drake, daughter of Councillor Robert Drake and his wife Sarah (nee Morris). The couple lived at West Layton House in Wensleydale, before moving to Hythe in Kent in c.1727 when Elizabeth inherited the estate of Mount Morris upon the death of her brother Morris Drake.
In this intimate portrait Robinson is shown exactly as he appears in another of Gower Hamilton's works, probably his best know piece, A Conversation of Virtuosis at the King's Arms (A Club of Artists), of 1735. There, Robinson appears in the company of other great artistic and literary figures of the day, such as George Vertue, Michael Dahl, John Wootton, John Michael Rysbrack, William Kent and Hamilton himself. The similarity in the pose could suggest that Robinson asked Hamilton to execute this more private painting, but still show him in the same pose. The painting shown hanging behind the couple on the wall is believed to be a group portrait of the Robinson's nine children, thus forming a charming complete family portrait. Amongst his children was the famous authoress and socialite Mrs. Elizabeth Montague (1720-1800).