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Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841)

The Penny Wedding Signed and dated 1818

RCIN 405536

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For Wilkie’s second royal commission, he chose to portray a more distinctively Scottish subject than in any painting produced since he left Fife in 1805. The scene shows a ‘Penny Wedding’, at which guests contributed a penny towards the festivities. The custom was dying out by the early-nineteenth century, so Wilkie’s vision is a nostalgic depiction of the traditions of ‘Old Scotland’. Painted for George IV, when Prince Regent, in 1818-19