About this artwork

This is a preparatory study for 'The Letter of Introduction' (NG 1890). Once his initial outline and composition was decided, Wilkie went on to develop detailed chalk studies of specific elements. For this he worked mostly from real sitters in his studio. In this delicate study for the young man’s face, Wilkie has used careful detailing around the ear and has used only a few careful strokes of black chalk to suggest his features and doleful expression. The young man’s face in the finished painting differs very little from this early working drawing.

Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie