Edmonia Lewis’ Bust of Christ on permanent display at Mount Stuart
Edmonia Lewis’ Bust of Christ will be put on permanent display in the Entrance Hall at Mount Stuart from October 2021.
This new home for the work was chosen for several important reasons. Firstly, the sculpture sits in front of a stained-glass window by Nathaniel Westlake depicting The Visitation, in which the Virgin Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus meets her cousin Saint Elizabeth, who is pregnant with Saint John the Baptist, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke 1:39-56. The episode is one of the standard scenes shown in cycles of the Life of the Virgin in art, and sometimes in larger cycles of the Life of Christ in art and a point that would certainly not have been lost on either Edmonia Lewis or the 3rd Marquess of Bute as converts to Roman Catholicism. Secondly, the Bust of Christ will be overlooked by a portrait of John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute by Sir James Gunn (1936, posthumous portrait), which allows for Lewis and her patron to be connected within the space.