WILKIE, Sir David (1785–1841), painter of genre, historical subjects, and portraits. Autigraph letter signed to John Macdonald Esq Secty., 1 side, 4to, Vicarage Place, Kensington March 12th 1838, expressing his appreciation to the Committee of Directors for inviting him to the Anniversary Dinner of the Highland Society of London at the Free Masons Tavern on the 21st March, “I shall be most happy to have the honour of waiting upon the noble Chairman and the Members”. Reverse of paper with old album paste marks.
Born in Pitlessie, Fife, Scotland, David Wilkie was a highly successful artist in his lifetime, and was held in high esteem as a man and as an artist. Among artists, some particular friends were William Allan, Francis Chantrey, William Collins, John Constable, Andrew Geddes, B. R. Haydon, John Jackson, C. R. Leslie, and Thomas Phillips. He was an honorary member of foreign academies; was made doctor of civil law at Oxford in 1834; was knighted in 1836; and in 1841 was nominated a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur (ODNB). At the time of writing this letter Wilkie was finishing his well known painting The First Council of Queen Victoria (exhibited at the RA, 1838; Royal Collection).
The Highland Society of London was founded in 1778 by Scottish landowners resident in London, and was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 21 May 1816. Wilkie was elected an Honorary Member in 1818.