Gerald Wilde
Fata Morgana 1949

Artwork details

Gerald Wilde 1905–1986
Fata Morgana
Date 1949
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1036 x 902 mm
frame: 1118 x 1250 x 76 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1984
Not on display

Display caption

It is often difficult to read Wilde’s paintings. Yet hidden figurative forms can sometimes be found within the apparent chaos of swirling paint. Here, a reclining woman is visible in the lower half of the picture. Next to her is a vase of flowers and a bird; in the background there is a landscape.

In mythology Fata Morgana is an enchantress. The name is also given to a mirage of a woman sometimes seen in the Straits of Messina. Why Wilde invoked this myth remains unknown, but it may refer to a fantasy of a woman appearing in a landscape.

September 2004

About this artwork