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Sir David Wilkie, 1785–1841

The Pedlar

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
23 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches (59.7 x 49.5 cm), Frame: 31 1/4 × 27 1/4 × 3 1/2 inches (79.4 × 69.2 × 8.9 cm)

Signed, lower left: "DWilkie"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
bag | bonnet | breeches | child | clock | coat | dress | dwelling | fabric | family | father | fichu | genre subject | hat | house | inspection | jacket | mother | peddler | pipe | purchases | rural | selling | sisters | smoking (activity) | stockings | vendor | window
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

The Scottish painter Sir David Wilkie established his reputation by creating closely observed scenes of British life during a productive decade following his move to London in 1805. His small pictures, painted in emulation of seventeenth-century Dutch masters, such as David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690), created a sensation and helped make Wilkie one of the most admired painters of his generation. This example represents a Scottish peddler in an English cottage trying to sell his wares, mostly bonnets and textiles. The man in the window reaches reluctantly into his pocket to pay for the cloth his wife desires to buy. Wilkie painted this picture for his friend and physician, Dr. Matthew Baillie, requesting it back for loan in 1832 so that he could have it engraved. Selling prints after genre scenes like this one provided Wilkie with a reliable income that required less effort than his initial business of painting portraits.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

David Wilkie : Genre Painter (Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2002-09-11 - 2002-12-01) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

1,470 GNS. More Paid After 41 Years, The Times (London), London, February 21, 1959, p. 8, Avaialble on line : Times Digital Archive Also available on microfilm: Film An T482 (SML) [ORBIS]

A Triad of Painters: Fuseli, Wilkie, and Cruikshank, Graham's illustrated magazine of literature, romance, art, and fashion., 42, no. 3, March 1853, p. 315, Available online : American Periodicals database Also avalable in hard copy: A89 G7603 (LSF) [ORBIS]

A Triad of Painters: Fuseli, Wilkie, and Cruikshank, Home Magazine, 8, T.S. Arthur Publisher, Philadelphia, August 1856, p. 108, Available Online via American Periodicals database Also available in hard copy: A89 L12846 (LSF) [ORBIS]

Arts Diary, The Times, London, August 3, 1985, p. 20, Available online via Times Digital Archive [ORBIS]

Bernard Thorpe and Partners, The Times, London, February 10, 1959, p. 16, Available online via Times Digital Archive [ORBIS]

William Chiego, Sir David Wilkie of Scotland (1785-1841), Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art, 1987, P. 162-164, NJ18 W665 C45 [ORBIS]

Forthcoming Lectures, The Burlington Magazine, vol. 101, The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd., Burlington, February 1959, p. 79, N1 .B87 Oversize Also available online via JSTOR [ORBIS]

Catherine Hoover, The Influence of David Wilkie's Prints in the Genre Paintings of William Sidney Mount, The American Art Journal, 13, Kennedy Galleries, Inc, New York, Summer 1981, p. 32, N6505 .A618 Haas Also available online via JSTOR [ORBIS]

Duncan Macmillan, Scotland and the Origins of Modern Art, London, 2023, p.138, fig.65, N6775 M33 2023 YCBA [ORBIS]

John Morrison, Painting the Nation: Identity and Nationalism in Scottish Painting, 1800-1921, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2003, p. 28-30, fig. 2.4, ND478 .M67 2003 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Duncan Robinson, Acquisitions: The First Decade 1927-1986, The Burlington Magazine, 128, The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd., Burlington, 1986, N1 .B87 Oversize Also available via JSTOR [ORBIS]

Nicholas Tromans, David Wilkie, the People's Painter, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2007, p. 26, 93, NJ18.W665 T765 2007 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Nicholas Tromans, David Wilkie: A Painter of Everyday Life, London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, p. 76-77, fig. 15, NJ18. W665 776 2002 (LC) OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

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