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Sir David Wilkie ( 1785 - 1841 )  Category ( Painters ) [suggest a correction]
 

Sir David WilkieSir David Wilkie was an early nineteenth-century Scottish painter, most famous for his historical paintings. He was born to a Presbyterian minister in Fife, Scotland. As a child he displayed a strong interest and aptitude for art, but he was sent to a traditional school, where he studied subjects that his father believed were most fitting for the son of a clergyman. However, when he completed his studies he convinced his father to permit him to engage in formal study of painting. Wilkie was admitted to the Trustees Academy in Edinburgh. His first tutor was artist John Graham. As an art student, Wilkie flourished, and became renowned for his perseverance and dedication to his studies. He even carried a sketchbook with him wherever he went, to the marketplace, for long walks, and to local fairs. He was particularly fond of Scottish painter David Allan, who portrayed scenes of the peasantry engaged in everyday life. Through his talent and frequent practice, Wilkie became known at school for his gift of capturing a subject's inner character. By late 1809, the academic art world had taken notice of Wilkie. That year he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1811 he became a full member of the academy, though in 1812 his confidence was temporarily challenged when his first exhibition was not successful. He returned to his love of the rustic, and in 1815 he executed Distraining for Rent, which became one of his most popular works. By 1816 he was accepting commissions from the Duke of Wellington, for whom he painted one of his greatest works, Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Gazette of the Battle of Waterloo.

Wilkie traveled abroad extensively during the 1820s, accepting and executing important commissions. In 1823 he was appointed Royal Limner for Scotland, and began to paint for the royal family. Due to the enormous stresses, Wilkie's health began to suffer. Even his painting style changed as a result of the strain of high-end commissions and constant travel. He began to favor the styles and techniques of the Italian masters, and Spanish greats such as Diego Velazquez. In 1836 he was awarded the honor of knighthood. During his later career he focused mainly on portraiture, especially commissions from the English royal family. In 1840 he embarked on a tour of the East, and traveled to Constantinople, and then on to Jerusalem and Alexandria. He painted portraits of the leaders in all three locations. On his way back to England, the ship made port at Malta. Wilkie became ill there, but recovered sufficiently to resume the voyage. However, he died shortly after embarkation, and died at sea, just off the coast of Gibraltar. He received a burial at sea near the location of his death.

Image: David Wilkie.


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Title :Sir David Wilkie - Biography
Description : A biography of artist Sir David Wilkie.
 
 
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