The Lady of the Lake
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

Oscar Wilson

English ( b.1867 - d.1930 )

The Lady of the Lake

  • Watercolour
  • Signed lower left

Image size 17 inches x 10.2 inches ( 43cm x 26cm )
Frame size 23 inches x 16.1 inches ( 58.5cm x 41cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art in the English county of Dorset, this original painting by Oscar Wilson dates from around 1900.
The watercolour is presented and supplied in a sympathetic contemporary frame (which is shown in these photographs), mounted using conservation materials and behind non-reflective Tru Vue UltraVue® UV70 glass.
This antique painting is in very good condition, commensurate with its age. It wants for nothing and is ready to hang and display.
The watercolour is signed lower left.
It is dedicated to James A. Rutherford of Southlake House, Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire.

The 1901 United Kingdom census states that James A Rutherford was born in 1867 in Tipperary, Ireland. Also living with him at Southlake House was Evelyn E Rutherford born in 1860 in Buckinghamshire, England. James and Evelyn do not appear in the 1891, 1911 and 1921 UK censuses.

Oscar Wilson was a hugely successful and popular English genre and portrait artist, who also worked extensively as an illustrator and joke cartoonist. He was born in Hackney, London in 1867 (although there is a census return that suggests he was born in 1863.) He trained at the South Kensington School of art and later at the Antwerp Academy under Charles Verlat and Polydore Beaufaux. It is likely that he met and married his wife, Jeanne, whilst he was in Belgium. They had one son, Walter, who was born around 1890.
Wilson seems to have divided his time between living in Belgium and London. His residence was London in 1886 and 1893, Blackheath in 1887 and Antwerp in 1891. Certainly, by 1921 he was settled in Notting Hill. There are reports that he spent some time travelling in Africa, and the subjects of some of his works (such as “Reading the Koran” exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1889) confirms this.
Wilson was a prolific illustrator of books and drew for all the principal magazines and newspapers of his day. He also produced illustrations for postcards on themes of the Great War. He produced popular illustrations for promotional publications by the Great Eastern Railway Company, encouraging people to travel to the seaside and to the Continent.
Wilson’s work was exhibited regularly at the Dudley Gallery, the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, the Walker Gallery, Liverpool, the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Cambrian Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Walters Colours , the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Scottish Academy, among others. He was well respected by his peers and well received by the critics and public. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1926.
Wilson’s works were often clever, acutely observed, and often displayed an admiration for the frivolous femininity of the modern women of his time. He died in London on 13th July 1930. His wit, humour and skill lives on.

© Big Sky Fine Art

This glorious original watercolour by English artist Oscar Wilson is a piece of pure mischief. It depicts a young woman, naked save for a crimson feather boa wrapped around her body, and a pair of old-fashioned ice skates. She is standing tall, her long hair trailing loose behind her as she is pulled across the frozen ice of a large lake by a small dog, possibly a black toy poodle The dog’s tail has been carefully tied with a small ribbon which matches the feather boa, as does the string which connects the woman and her dog. There is no-one else in sight and the glimmer of light from behind the tall trees at the edge of the lake hints at sunrise or sunset. This is, especially when one considers the age in which it was painted, an outrageous image. The woman is composed and obviously delighted with herself. This is not an overtly sexual image despite the nudity. It seems to say more about self-accomplishment than exhibitionism It is an image of freedom, rebellion from the norms of society even, and conveys pure joy and escapism.