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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
SIR DAVID WILKIE, R.A.
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.