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The Gilded Cage (Evelyn De Morgan painting)

The Gilded Cage is an oil painting by Evelyn De Morgan, with apparent stylistic influences of spatial representation from Surrealist modes of thought. It was her final work before her death in 1919. It is essentially an allegory for female hypnotic delirium.

The Gilded Cage
The Gilded Cage, by Evelyn De Morgan.jpg
ArtistEvelyn De Morgan
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions78.5 cm × 105 cm (30.9 in × 41 in)
LocationDe Morgan Centre

In this painting, a woman "looks out" from what seems to be a window that may, in fact, be a scene from a mural painting within the greater composition with her hand stretched out and up in a gesture of yearning. She is looking at what may be compared to a group of gypsy figures, dancing under the open sky. The principal figure among the travelling group is a woman who dances while holding her baby close to her, thus otherwise suggesting the scene is representional for an altered-state vision of maternal duty.

Soaring free about the dancing group is a bird, which contrasts sharply to the captive bird in the gilded cage that hangs beside the woman's older husband. The husband seems distraught at his wife's deteriorated - or "released" - state of mind.