Friday, December 08, 2006

Art Blogging: Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was a British Art Nouveau printmaker and pen-and-ink artist. He grew up in poverty in Brighton and London, but was vigorously educated by his mother and later private schooling. Beardsley was a musical prodigy, but turned to art on the advice of Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones. He took classes at the Westminster School of Art. Beardsley was both reviled and beloved for his complete break with Academic norms. He died young from tuberculosis contracted as a child.

The Peacock Skirt (1894) at the Fogg Art Museum. It was an illustration for Oscar Wilde's play Salome. Beardsley was closely affiliated with the Decadent Movement.

The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles (1896) at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. It is a satire on the ostentation of the elite, traditionalist Victorian lifestyle.

Illustration to Siegfriend, Act II (1892) at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Bearsley earned his wages by illustrating playbills, such as this one by Richard Wagner.

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