Miss Mary Linwood, Artist in Needlework thumbnail 1
Miss Mary Linwood, Artist in Needlework thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries

Miss Mary Linwood, Artist in Needlework

Oil Painting
ca. 1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.

People
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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on canvas
Brief Description
Portrait of Miss Mary Linwood (1755-1845), artist in needlework, by John Hoppner RA, ca. 1800
Physical Description
Oil painting
Dimensions
  • Unframed height: 91.4cm
  • Width: 71.1cm
Style
Gallery Label
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)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Miss Ellen Markland
Object history
Bequeathed by Miss Ellen Markland, 1874. By John Hoppner RA (born in 1758, died in 1810)
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.

People
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.
Collection
Accession Number
1439-1874

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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