Something gilded looks like gold, whether it is or not. If you've heard the expression "all that glitters is not gold," it's especially true of anything gilded.

You might have first heard the word gilded in the name of a historical period in the U.S. known as The Gilded Age; the name suggests that the appearance of wealth concealed actual poverty. Gilded is often used to point out illusion in this way, but if no illusion is intended, it need not be a negative word. I think the gilded doves in your painting are especially lovely.

Definitions of gilded

adj made from or covered with gold

gilded icons”
gold, golden
metal, metallic
containing or made of or resembling or characteristic of a metal

adj having the deep slightly brownish color of gold

aureate, gilt, gold, golden
being or having or characterized by hue

adj rich and superior in quality

gilded dining rooms”
deluxe, grand, luxurious, opulent, princely, sumptuous
suggestive of or characterized by great expense

adj based on pretense; deceptively pleasing

“the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility”
meretricious, specious
lacking sincerity

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