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Oil painting - Miss Mary Linwood, Artist in Needlework
  • Miss Mary Linwood, Artist in Needlework
    Hoppner, John, born 1758 - died 1810
  • Enlarge image

Miss Mary Linwood, Artist in Needlework

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hoppner, John, born 1758 - died 1810 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss Ellen Markland

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case WW

Object Type
Before the 19th century, a typical portrait would be of a wealthy landowner, merchant or nobleman (and their families). After about 1800 portraits of people from all ranks of society began to be commissioned. Pictures of the rich and famous started to include artists, politicians, literary figures and scientists.

Mary Linwood's copies of old master paintings in crewel wool (named from the crewel or worsted wool used), in which the brush strokes were rendered by stitches, achieved great fame from the time of her first London exhibition in 1787. On one occasion her copy of a painting by the Italian artist Salvator Rosa (1615-1673) was sold for more than the original. Her exhibition in Leicester Square, London, was the first art show to be illuminated by gaslight. The first commissioned work of the landscape artist John Constable (1776-1837) was to paint the background details in one of her works. Linwood's portrait of Napoleon, said to have been done from life, was bequeathed to the V&A at the same time as this picture. So successful was Mary Linwood that she was able to commission John Hoppner (1758-1810) to paint her portrait. By this time he was principal painter to the Prince of Wales (later George IV) and the most important portraitist in England.

Physical description

Oil painting

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1800 (made)


Hoppner, John, born 1758 - died 1810 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 91.4 cm unframed, Width: 71.1 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by Miss Ellen Markland, 1874. By John Hoppner RA (born in 1758, died in 1810)

Descriptive line

Portrait of Miss Mary Linwood (1755-1845), artist in needlework, by John Hoppner RA, ca. 1800

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Mary Linwood (1756-1845) was famous for exhibiting her crewel wool needlework copies of old master paintings in her gallery in Leicester Square, London. Linwood's enterprise was an example of how the luxury goods trades began to use similar techniques of display to those used for high art, attracting customers with public exhibitions. [27/03/2003]


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Needlework; Classicism; Wool; Portraits; Women; Tapestry


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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