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Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841)

The Defence of Saragossa Signed and dated 1828

RCIN 405091

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This is the third of four Spanish paintings by Wilkie which draw on episodes from the Spanish War of Independence (1808 – 14). The French are driven back by resistance forces led by Agostina Zaragosa (the ‘Maid of Saragossa’), who has stepped over the body of her dead husband to light the cannon directed against the invaders. This painting shows Wilkie as the equal of leading French romantic artists of his generation including Delacroix, who greatly admired his work. Purchased by George IV, 1829