Sir David Wilkie

Scottish (1785 - 1841)
Sir David Wilkie Sir David Wilkie, 1785 - 1841. Artist (Self-portrait) About 1804 - 1805


Born 1785
Died 1841
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Cults
Death place Malta

Wilkie achieved international recognition for his highly original paintings of events and episodes from contemporary life. His skills as a narrator were evident in the facial expressions and poses of his characters, and in the informative detail he included. He was born in Fife, the son of a rural minister and began his formal artistic training at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh when he was fifteen. He then moved to London in 1805 and became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1811. He was appointed Painter to the King in 1830 and knighted in 1836.

Glossary terms

  • A French term that denotes different types of paintings, such as landscape, portrait or still life. The phrase ‘genre painting’ is used specifically to describe works depicting everyday scenes.

  • Paintings in which the subject is taken from biblical, classical or other mythological histories.


Facing the World | Self-Portraits Rembrandt to Ai Weiwei
  • Ended Sun 16 Oct 2016
  • £9
The Discovery of Spain: British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso
  • Ended Sun 11 Oct 2009