Renowned Art
Aubrey Beardsley Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898)
Aubrey Beardsley was born in Brighton, England. Beardsley's images are usually done in ink, and feature large dark areas contrasted with large blank ones, and areas of fine detail contrasted with areas with none at all. Beardsley illustrated Oscar Wilde's Salomé and produced illustrations for a deluxe edition of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Beardsley also wrote Under the Hill, an unfinished erotic tale based loosely on the legend of Tannhäuser.
Billet
Dream
Tannhauser
Herodias
Merlin and Nimue
Caprice. Verso
Chopin

Viewer

The Dream, 1896
Pen and black ink
 

Twas he has summon'd to her silent Bed

The Morning Dream that hover'd o'er her Head.

A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-Night Beau. . . .


Carrying a long baton tipped with a glittering star, an elegant suitor of the 1700s peers through an opening in the bed-curtains to spy on Belinda, the protagonist in Alexander Pope's poem, The Rape of the Lock. According to the passage from the poem, the suitor probably represents the "Morning Dream" sent to Belinda by her guardian to populate her fantasies.

In his typically sensuous and inventive way, Aubrey Beardsley did not illustrate the passage literally; rather, he chose suggestive, fantastic imagery replete with allusions. Long, lacy bed-curtains embroidered with women's busts and feminine motifs, such as the peacock, symbolize Belinda. Beardsley's unique manner of drawing includes elaborate layering of patterns, such as the delicate dotting that resembles textile embroidery.
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