About this artwork

This subject is based on Wilkie's own experience as a young artist arriving in London with, as he felt, useless letters of introduction to potential patrons. He captures perfectly the awkward pose of a young man uncomfortable in formal clothes being sniffed at by the dog of the unfriendly older gentleman. Although dressed informally in dressing gown, slippers and turban the older man's expression, both calculating and suspicious, does nothing to ease the tension of the moment. The conspicuous presence of a Japanese jar may suggest he is a connoisseur.

Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie

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