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Mary Knowles (1733-1807)

Needlework picture late 18th century

Embroidered wool | 89.2 x 84.5 cm (frame, external) | RCIN 11912

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Queen Charlotte commissioned the embroiderer and intellectual Mary Knowles to create a portrait of her husband, George III, in 1771. Several years later, and after an extended friendship with the Queen, Mary sent her patroness this portrait of herself working on the portrait of the king. The new technique of shading long stitches in wool, or silk, sometimes called needle-painting, lent itself to accurate, multi-dimensional depictions of individuals.