‘The Shackles of Connoisseurship’

Nicholas Tromans

in David Wilkie

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625208
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651313 | DOI:
‘The Shackles of Connoisseurship’

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This chapter discusses directly David Wilkie's relationship with his audiences and with the institutions which mediated that relationship. Wilkie explored the possibilities of retaining more intimate, private relationships with artworks: in domestic spaces, and in the ancient buildings that had sheltered artistic treasures for centuries. He sought to instill respect for painterly tradition into the institution, and especially into its students. Moreover, the chapter explores two contexts for viewing that seemed to offer such real alternatives: on one hand the private, domestic space; and on the other, the picturesque location – the Old Master encountered in its original, ecclesiastical setting. Wilkie's respect for the Roman Church was reflected in a series of four paintings of pilgrim subjects, the first of which he completed in Italy as he recovered his strength.

Keywords: David Wilkie; domestic spaces; Old Master; Roman Church; ancient buildings; paintings; Italy

Chapter.  17975 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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