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Aubrey Beardsley (August 21st 1872- March 16th 1898) was a leading figure of the Aesthetic movement as an artist and author. Born in Brighton, England, his distinctive black and white illustrations feature themes of history, mythology and erotica that made him one of the most controversial artists of the Art Nouveau era. He was a contemporary and friend of Oscar Wilde. Beardsley's most famous illustrations include that of a privately printed edition of Aristophanes' play Lysistrata and Oscar Wilde's play Salome. He renounced his dark and grotesque style after he converted to Catholocism in 1897, one year before his death. He moved to the French Riviera in 1898 amidst a period of declining health, and died later that year at the age of 25 from tuberculosis.


Lysistrata Defending the Acropolis
Lysistrata Defending the Acropolis




"…her body gleaming in the slow shifting from one to another of such formally erotic attitudes and gestures as a Beardsley of the time of Petronius might have drawn" (LIA 260).

"...a woman created of by and for darkness whom the artist Beardsley might have dressed..." (AA 157).

"...the little boy whom Beardsley might have not only dressed but drawn- a thin delicate child with a smooth ivory sexless face..." (AA 157).