John Wilde was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where after serving in World War II he began a distinguished teaching career. In style, his art is a modern extension of traditional realist styles. His meticulous drawing and candid portrayals of the human figure are suggestive of fifteenth-century Flemish and Italian Renaissance art. The element of fantasy in his art also joins him to older northern European traditions. His renderings, however, of living forms that do not seem drawn from nature and his illogical juxtapositions of objects place him within the context of Surrealism and Magic Realism, whose incongruous dream worlds he admires. His art of improbable situations nonetheless explores the most traditional of themes in Western art: love and death. His work is held in the permanent collections of prestigious museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, and The Art Institute of Chicago.