British Sir David Wilkie Galleries
Wilkie may have inherited his rectitude and tenacity, even his nervous inhibitions, from his father, the minister of his native parish. Though little responsive to schooling, he showed an early inclination towards mimicry that expressed itself in drawings, chiefly of human activity. In these he was influenced by a copy of Allan Ramsay pastoral comedy in verse, the Gentle Shepherd (1725), illustrated by David Allan in 1788. One of the few surviving examples of his early drawings represents a scene from it (c. 1797; Kirkcaldy, Fife, Mus. A.G.). Wilkie cherished the demotic spirit of this book and its illustrations throughout his life.