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Watercolour - View of Mary Linwood's gallery

View of Mary Linwood's gallery

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1810 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 17, shelf DR2

Object Type
Watercolour sketches of this kind were usually the first stage in the preparation of book illustrations. They were often highly coloured, even if the image was intended to be reproduced as a print in black and white. This example was probably the first stage of making an aquatint in an expensive magazine or book. An aquatint is a kind of high quality etching, often hand-coloured. (An etching is produced by biting lines in a metal plate with acid to hold ink).

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.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


ca. 1810 (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper


Height: 7.5 cm, Width: 11.5 cm

Descriptive line

View of Mary Linwood's gallery

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Mary Linwood's gallery in Leicester Square showed no less than 64 examples of her 'needlepaintings' between about 1800 and her death in 1845. This view depicts the main room, conventionally hung with 'scarlet cloth, satin and silver'. In another, her copy of James Northcote's painting of Lady Jane Grey as a prisoner was displayed in a prison cell at the end of a dark corridor. [27/03/2003]




Watercolour drawing


Paintings; British Galleries


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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