Wilkie, Sir David

Wilkie, Sir David a British painter of great celebrity, was born at the manse of the parish of Cults, on the banks of Edenwater, in Fifeshire, Scotland, November 18, 1785. He received a limited education at the grammar-school of Kettle, when he was sent to the Trustees' Academy of Edinburgh for the Encouragement of Manufactures. Here, in 1803, he won the prize of ten guineas for painting Callisto in the Bath of Diana. In 1804 he returned home, and spent some time in painting portraits and scenes of common life. He then went to London, and entered the Royal Academy as a student. His picture of the Village Politicians, exhibited in 1806, gained for the young artist great notoriety, and, indeed, established his fame. He now settled in London, and was busily employed in the execution of his commissions for several years. In 1811 he became a member of the Royal Academy. In 1823 he was appointed liminer to the king in Scotland. Two years later he made a tour of the Continent, spending the greater portion of the time in Italy. In 1830 he became painter in ordinary to his majesty. In 1832 hie exhibited his celebrated picture of John Knox Preaching the Reformation in St. Andrews's, painted for Sir Robert Peel for twelve hundred guineas. It is claimed that his greatest historical work is the picture of Sir David Baird Discovering the Body qf the Sultan Tippo Saib, after Storming Seringapatam. In 1840 he started for the East, making an extended tour through Holland, Southern Germany, Constantinople, the Holy Land, and Egypt. He died, on his return to England, on board the "Oriental," then off Gibraltar, June 1, 1841, His works have been made known to the world by the engravings of Raimbach, Burnet, Cousins, Doo, and C. Fox.

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