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

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.


Exhibition finished
Facing the World | Self-Portraits Rembrandt to Ai Weiwei
  • 16 July 2016 to 16 October 2016
  • £9
Exhibition finished
The Discovery of Spain: British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso
  • 18 July 2009 to 11 October 2009