The Art of Aubrey Beardsley

A Gallery of his Drawings

Aubrey Beardsley's art has gone in and out of fashion many times over the last century. But there is no doubt he has had a lasting impression on many artists who followed him. His life was a brief one. Born in 1872, he achieved fame early, but was dead by age tewntyfive. His drawings were not mere illustrations, but formed an integral part of the English Aesthetic Movement and are best understood in this context.

"The Dancer's Reward"
( 570 x 671 / 14 k / gif)

This drawing was one of Beardsley's illustrations for the English translation of Oscar Wilde's Salome, published by Elkin Mathews and John Lane, London, 1894. Wilde's work was originally published in a French edition to circumvent English prudishness.

The Yellow Book, cover art, Vol. I, April 1894.
( 384 x 511 x 256 / 10 k / gif)

The Yellow Book has been referred to as the quintessential periodical of the 1890's in England. Beardsley served as art editor of this avant-garde literary journal from its inception in April 1894, until he was dismissed a year later. This was the time of Oscar Wilde's arrest and conviction for homosexual practices and Beardsley, quite unfairly, was seen as having to close a link with Wilde.

"Mrs. Patrick Campbell"
( 441 x 655 / 6 k / gif)

Oscar Wilde introduced Beardsley to the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell in 1894 and this drawing was the result. The drawing appeared in The Yellow Book, Vol. I, April 1894.

"The Lady with the Monkey"
( 487 x 581 / 21 k / gif )

This drawing was done as part of the series, Six Drawings Illustrating Theophile Gautier's Romance Mademoiselle de Maupin by Aubrey Beardsley published by Leonard Smithers and Co., London, 1898.

"How Queen Guenever Made Her a Nun"
( 384 x 488 / 14 k / gif)

Both this drawing and the one below were part of Beardsley's work for Le Morte Darthur, published by J.M. Dent, London, 1893-94.

Design for chapter heading from Le Morte Darthur, 1893-4
( 225 x 329 / 8 k / gif)

This exhibit is sponsored by Thomas G. Boss Fine Books, publisher of A Selective Checklist of the Published Work of Aubrey Beardsley.

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