Sir David Wilkie

General Sir David Baird, 1757 - 1829. Soldier (Study for Sir David Baird discovering the body of Tippoo Sahib) (1837 - 1838)

About this artwork

Baird's most significant achievement was the defeat of the Indian ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sahib, at Seringapatam in 1799. By this action, British ascendancy in southern India was assured and the influence of France diminished in the sub-continent. Ten years later Baird was with General Sir John Moore in Spain; he was injured at Corunna and lost an arm. Sir David's wife considered that her husband had been insufficiently rewarded. After his death, she commissioned Wilkie to paint a heroic picture in which the general is seen discovering the dead body of Tipu Sahib. The painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland. This is Wilkie's study for the head which he based on an engraving after a portrait by Raeburn.

  • title: General Sir David Baird, 1757 - 1829. Soldier (Study for Sir David Baird discovering the body of Tippoo Sahib)
  • accession number: PG 644
  • artist: Sir David WilkieScottish (1785 - 1841)
  • depicted: General Sir David Baird
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Military and naval Travel
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1837 - 1838
  • measurements: 75.60 x 62.80 cm (framed: 92.50 x 81.00 x 10.00 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by General Stirling 1906
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie

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.