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Distraining for Rent

David Wilkie

Distraining for Rent

David Wilkie
  • Date: 1815
  • Style: Romanticism
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Media: oil, panel
  • Tag: commerce-and-finances
  • Dimensions: 123 x 81.3 cm
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Wilkie conveys the powerful emotion generated when a farmer and his large family, unable to pay the rent, are faced with eviction. The subject was topical for many tenant farmers faced financial crisis as rents rose but corn prices fell. The hardworking and despairing farmer's neighbours angrily protest on his behalf as the wealthily dressed, uncaring bailiff orders an inventory of contents and the imminent seizure of goods. Wilkie brilliantly proved here his ability to tackle serious subjects, but the painting had a mixed reception because of its potential political message and its sombre appearance.

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