Wilkie and Scotland

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:
Wilkie and Scotland

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This chapter is concerned with David Wilkie and Scotland, reflecting back upon the artist's whole career, first considering the question of how Scotland was to be represented in pictures. It reviews Wilkie's Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo Saib. Furthermore, Wilkie's relation with the emerging art institutions of Edinburgh are investigated, and this story is related to the larger question of how the issue of patronage helped define Scottish culture's view of itself in the nineteenth century. The chapter then illustrates how, in his last completed major work, Wilkie explicitly placed the iconic Highlander in his imperial context. Wilkie's picture of Scottish soldiers in India forms part of the museological history of Empire. Wilkie was pressed back into the model of Scottish art that imagined the nation's cultural life to have grown from the grassroots upwards, encouraged by ‘a healthy, philistine demand’ and independent of elite patronage.

Keywords: David Wilkie; Scotland; Sultan Tippoo Saib; Edinburgh; Scottish culture; India; Scottish art

Chapter.  19159 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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