1785 – Born on November 18th in Cults, Fife, Scotland. British genre and portrait painter and draftsman known for his anecdotal style.
1804 – His first important painting, Pitlessie Fair, was a genre picture in the Dutch manner owing much to the works of David Teniers the Younger and Adriaen van Ostade.
1805-1806 – Wilkie, who had studied in Edinburgh, entered the Royal Academy schools in London and exhibited there.
1811 – He was elected a royal academician.
1822 – His genre pictures achieved such success that the Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Waterloo Despatch, when exhibited in the Royal Academy exhibition, had to be protected by barriers from the crowds of admirers.
1825-1828 – A crucial change in his style occurred, when for reasons of health he visited Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain.
1830 – Wilkie succeeded Sir Thomas Lawrence as painter to the king.
1836 – He was knighted.
1840 – He visited the Holy Land to familiarize himself with the true background to religious painting, thereby anticipating William Holman Hunt.
1841 – Died on June 1st at sea near Gibraltar.
– He died on the return journey, and his burial at sea is commemorated in J.M.W. Turner’s painting Peace: Burial at Sea.