Sir David Wilkie

Studies for the Painting 'Pitlessie Fair' [Verso: Similar Study] (About 1804)

About this artwork

This is one of Wilkie’s preliminary drawings for his 1804 painting ‘Pitlessie Fair’ (NG 1527). The few surviving studies for the Pitlessie Fair are amongst some of Wilkie’s earliest known drawings. Wilkie drew on both sides of this sheet; this side shows studies for some of the figures and animals, and on the reverse is a compositional sketch for the group seated around the table on the left of the painting. Wilkie used 140 models for his painting, including his own father, brothers and sisters.

  • title: Studies for the Painting 'Pitlessie Fair' [Verso: Similar Study]
  • accession number: D 4904
  • artist: Sir David WilkieScottish (1785 - 1841)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • subject: Villages
  • medium: Chalk on paper
  • date created: About 1804
  • measurements: 33.20 x 29.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1966

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.