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David Wilkie

Rabbit on the Wall


David Wilkie
Cults, Scotland, 1785 – died at sea 1841


Rabbit on the Wall


About 1816


Oil on panel


20.3 x 17.8 cm


Mrs. R. MacD. Paterson Bequest, inv. 1949.1011


Western Art

In the romantic era, this Scottish painter experienced great success in London with his painting in the style of the masters of the genre in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century scene, Teniers the Younger and Van Ostade. In this scene from country life, Wilkie, demonstrating a keen sense of observation and extreme attention to detail, portrayed a family shadow show in a room lit by a chimney fire. A man and a woman, surrounded by their children, are enjoying seeing the shadow of a rabbit that the father’s cleverly arranged hands and fingers have cast upon the wall, in front of the delighted eyes of the youngest member of the family, who tries to catch hold of the creature.

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