Gerald Wilde Fata Morgana 1949

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Artwork details

Artist
Gerald Wilde 1905–1986
Title
Fata Morgana
Date 1949
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1036 x 902 mm
frame: 1118 x 1250 x 76 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1984
Reference
T03892
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

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