About this artwork

This sketch was made in preparation for the painting The Irish Whiskey Still (1840). This sketch and painting were produced after Wilkie's visit to Ireland in 1835. He compared Ireland to Spain as a picturesque, wild and romantic place, and described the 'primeval simplicity of the peasants'. He also said that Ireland provided him with 'perfectly new and untouched' material for inspiration. This sketch shows a young boy pouring the distilled spirit into a barrel using a funnel. In the final painting Wilkie changed the child into a girl, wearing a scarlet red skirt. 

Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie