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Robert Simon Fine Art

Charlotte Major Wylie

The Veiled King Death

20 inches in diameter; set within a richly ornamented frame designed and fabricated by the artist, 31 ¼ x 31 ¼ inches. (79.4 x 79.4 cm)


A masterpiece of the Arts & Crafts movement, The Veiled King Death was painted and modeled by Charlotte Minor Wylie, a Victorian British artist of little celebrity but manifest imagination. Working with different formulations of colored gesso, gilding, and inset stones, the artist created a haunting image that evokes the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death. Wylie designed and fabricated the painting’s extraordinary frame as well, surrounding the tondo with a series of low reliefs in gilt gesso both symbolic and decorative. She was a friend of the artist G. F. Watts, with whom she shared an attraction to the mystical and spiritual in art.

In part due to her painstaking technique, Wylie’s known works are few in number and have rarely appeared on the art market. First exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in London in 1893, the present work later served as the model for a large stained-glass window dedicated to the artist’s memory in the Church of St. John, Caterham Valley, Surrey.

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