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Mary Linwood (1755-1845)

Salvator Mundi, after Carlo Dolci c. 1798

Silk material, silk thread, wool, giltwood and glass | 93.6 x 76.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 11902

In an exhibition, Tate Britain Gallery [London]

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  • A rectangular needlework picture of a bearded Christ consecrating the bread and wine; wearing blue and white robes, a halo about his head, His eyes raised to heaven and His elbows resting on cloth-covered table; glazed gilt wood frame.

    The connoisseur Henry Noel mentions this embroidery in 1792:

    'deserves much Praise. I like it in one respect  better than the original, in that not having so much of the green Tint'

    Mrs Philip Lybbe Powys mentions this embroidery in her diary of 1798:

    'We stayed in town all the next day, as we wished to see Mrs Linwood's worsted work, then exhibiting at Hanover Square Concert rooms, and tho' we had heard so much in its praise, it fully answered every expectation; indeed it is beyond description. They are chiefly taken from the most celebrated artists, as Raphael, Guido, Rubens, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Stubbs, Opie... In the inner apartment is a fine whole-length Salvator Mundi by Carlo Dolci (she refused 2000 guineas and bequeathed it to the Queen). We observed several Catholic gentlemen take off their hats as they stood admiring this fine portrait!'

    From Passages from the Diaries of Mrs Philip Lybbe Powys of Hardwick House, A.D. 1756-1808 ed. Emily J. Climenson, London 1899, pp.300-1

    Copied by Mary Linwood from the orginal painting by Carlo Dolci during a stay at Burghley House, 1789.
    Displayed as the last work in Linwood's exhibition 1798.
    Displayed alone in Linwood's exhibition 1799.
    Although traditionally believed to have been bequeathed to Queen Charlotte by the artist herself, the work continued to be exhibited at Linwood's Leicester Square gallery until at least 1840, in the final room known as the Scripture Room which included needleworks of religious-themed Old Masters. Salvator Mundi was the first in four works displayed in this room. Despite the interest of the Earl of Exeter who offered her 300 guineas to purchase this needlework version, in Linwood's will it was bequeathed to 'the Reigning Sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland [at that time Queen Victoria] my picture Salvator Mundi as an heirloom.' This picture was not, therefore, included in the posthumous sale of her possessions in 1846.

    This provenance was also included in a catalogue entry for an exhibition held at Leicester museum in March 1945 to commemorate the centenary of Linwood's death, which notes:
    Salvator Mundi after Carlo Dolci
    (Bequeathed by Miss Linwood to H.M. Queen Victoria. From the Collections at Windsor Castle, lent by gracious permission of H.M. The King)

    and reiterated six years later, in 1951, at another exhibition held in Linwood's home town of Leicester.


    Hanover Square Concert Rooms (second room): 1797, 1798, 1800, 1802 (possibly) and 1809-10

    Leicester Square Gallery (variously in the third room and scripture room): 1810 (possibly), 1812, 1813, 1817, 1819, 1820, 1822, 1830, 1835 and 1840

    Another work by Mary Linwood, a needlework picture after George Morland, sold Woolley and Wallis, 5 July 2023, lot 210.

  • Medium and techniques

    Silk material, silk thread, wool, giltwood and glass


    93.6 x 76.5 cm (whole object)

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.