Perhaps the most fascinating of all the works of art to be found at Rokeby are the exquisite needlework ‘paintings’ created by Anne Eliza Morritt (1726 – 1797), spinster sister of J.S. Morritt. Over 40 examples of her work are on display, including copies of work by Poussin, Rubens, Salvator Rosa and Zuccarelli.
Velásquez’s ‘Toilet of Venus’ was purchased by JBS Morritt and hung at Rokeby for almost a century. The painting was bought by public subscription in 1905 and hangs in the National Gallery. A copy of the ‘Rokeby Venus’, painted by W.A. Menzies, now hangs in The Saloon at Rokeby.
The Rokeby collection includes paintings by Jervas, Kent, Reynolds and Pellegrini, as well as family portraits by Francis Cotes and Benjamin West. More recently, Jack Gilroy, famous for his Guinness ads, has painted three generations of Morritt family members.
A recently restored painting, now on display in the dining room, is the only known contemporary painting of the Coronation of Louis XIV.