Record

CodeNA9840
Dates1785-1841
Person NameWilkie; Sir; David (1785-1841); Genre and historical painter
SurnameWilkie
ForenamesDavid
PreTitleSir
EpithetGenre and historical painter
ActivityDavid Wilkie was born in Fife in 1785 and was taught by David Allan in Edinburgh. In 1805 he moved to London and the following year his painting ‘The Village Politicians’ was exhibited to remarkable acclaim at the Royal Academy. It established his reputation as a genre painter, and contributed to his election to the Royal Academy in 1811. He later tried historical painting but was growing impatient with his own popularity and moved to Italy to recover from a nervous breakdown. His paintings of the next few years were unpopular and his historical scenes seem to have been perceived as insincere, but a trip to the Holy Land in 1840 allowed him to return to a form of genre painting of his journey that was once again met with favour. He died on the way home the following year after a short illness.
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