Sir David Wilkie, R.A. (1785-1841)
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN SIR DAVID WILKIE, R.A. lots 17-23 Wilkie's progress as a draughtsman can be broadly categorised in three stages. His earliest drawings were executed in chalk, commonly in preparation for a finished work, and frequently aides to the oil studies in which the artist explored compositional ideas. Throughout the period c.1809-22, Wilkie evolved a highly distinctive style using pen and ink. These drawings are executed with a rapidity that preserves the vitality of direct observation. Accordingly they range from the slight to the more developed, and were completed on anything from scraps of waste paper - such as the backs of envelopes - to proper sheets. Later in his career Wilkie returned to the more sedate medium of chalk, or combined chalk with watercolour. Academic exercises, these have a valid precursor in the hand studies Wilkie completed throughout the 1820s and during the 1830s (see lot 24). The very simplicity of this subject matter, in its various ramifications, encouraged a more measured drawing style.
Sir David Wilkie, R.A. (1785-1841)

Preparing for the ball

Details
Sir David Wilkie, R.A. (1785-1841)
Preparing for the ball
pen and brown ink
8 1/8 x 5 5/8 in. (20.7 x 14.3 cm.)
Provenance
with Spink, London.
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

This appears to be a preparatory sketch for The Cottage Toilet, (1824, The Wallace Collection). The subject is taken from Ramsay's pastoral drama The Gentle Shepherd. Its grace and spontaneity are typical of Wilkie's pen and ink work. He captures the essence of his subject with a few deft strokes. The intimate nature of this domestic vignette is particularly suited to the technique.
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