Sir David Wilkie (British, Cults, Scotland 1785–1841 off Gibraltar)
Pen, brown ink, brush, brown wash
Sheet: 8 x 4 1/2 in. (20.3 x 11.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1908
Not on view
This is one of a group of sketches where Wilkie developed compositional ideas for a painting he would show at the Royal Acdemy, London in 1838 (now National Academy of Scotland, Edinburgh). Pen lines suggest movement, and wash is used to indicate shadow as the artist conveys the movements of a young woman dressing for her wedding assisted by a companion. The figure's nudity and elevated placement echo classical models, even though the subject was one of Scottish genre, and Wilkie's technique indebted to Dutch seventeenth-century masters such as Rembrandt.
Inscription: Verso, in pen and brown ink [part of a letter also on verso of 08.227.4a,b; once part of the same sheet; text incomplete]: "obtrusion upon you will appear very / . . .our kindness will perhaps excuse it. Since / . . .ice in the matter venture to subscribe you/ important service. / a nephew, Mr. Andrew Wilkie now / 19, who has been bred in the merchant / is to get into the Company's service. I / . . .tus cannot be immediately effected / May I ask Sir whether you then / . . . ed in one of the East India Company / . . .s, as Captain's Clerk, and whether / . . . or your friendly assistance in obtaining / for him [continues on the verso of 08.227.4a,b, which was once part of this sheet].
Sir James Knowles (British, Reigate 1831–1908 Brighton); Christie's, London, Knowles's sale, May 27, 1908, lot 9 (bought Parsons); Vendor: E. Parsons & Sons (London)Vendor: Through Roger Eliot Fry (British, Highgate, Middlesex 1866–1934 London)
Roger Eliot Fry [as "R.E.F."] "Recent Acquisitions of Drawings (Continued)." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 4, no. 2, February 1909, p. 24.