This article explores the role that contemporary religion and politics played in the subject matter of Mary Linwood's needlework paintings. Linwood was one of Britain's pioneering needlewomen of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Her approach to depicting famous narrative paintings in stitch has been largely overlooked by historians of art. The article is underpinned by use of primary source material, and draws on the most recent scholarship in the field of textile history, notably the work of Heidi Strobel and Rosika Desnoyers. Mary Linwood was an evangelical and a woman interested in the politics of the period. Her use of needlework was a means of both the expression of her piety and of the representation of her political views – especially attitudes to the brutality of the Napoleonic wars. The article also indicates that Linwood's views and medium were of remarkable interest to the wider public during the period.
Department of History, Philosophy and Culture
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-11-02