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Sir David Wilkie


1785 - 1841

Painter. Born in Cults Manse near Pitlessie (Fife) and educated at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh, Wilkie is perhaps best known for his historical and religious works, but was also a successful painter of portraits and other subjects. His first work was Pitlessie Fair. He settled in London, being elected to the Royal Academy in 1811. He painted Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and his family as a group at Abbotsford (1817). His Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Gazette of the Battle of Waterloo (1822) generated so much interest on its exhibition that crowd-control measures had to be employed.

In 1828, he painted The Entry of George IV into the Palace of Holyroodhouse, celebrating the first visit of a British monarch to Scotland for almost 200 years in 1822. This painting is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Wilkie was appointed Painter-in-Ordinary to King William IV in 1830.

He died while returning from the Middle East and was buried at sea.


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