About this artwork

This painting is typical of Kidd’s humorous pictures, it shows a wealthy elderly man dozing after consuming rich food and wine, while his servant has sneaked in and helped himself to the remaining wine or sherry. Everything about the scene displays the wealth of the old man, from his exotic citrus fruit and fine tableware, to his elegantly embroidered house coat with velvet cap and slippers. The room is lavishly furnished, and the enormous oriental vase signals that the owner is a man of fashionable and exotic tastes. These same elements can be seen in the David Wilkie’s The Letter of Introduction of 1813, which Kidd may well have known. Some parts of the paint in Indulging are now less visible, such as the statue of a head on top of the dresser on the right – the sculpture looks down on the light-fingered servant almost judgementally. There is another version of this picture in the Patrick Allan Fraser collection at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath.

William Kidd

William Kidd