Aubrey Beardsley

6a00df351d62938833013482166cea970c-800wi

Salome, with the head of John the Baptist

“If I am not grotesque, than I am nothing” — Beardsley

Today is the birthday of the great Art Nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898). A key member of the Aesthetic movement, he was a friend and colleague of Oscar Wilde, for whom he illustrated a published version of the play Salome┬áthat came out in 1894. Beardsley’s brief career moved with the speed of a comet. He’d become a professional in 1891, made the trip to Paris where he was influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec and Japanese prints in 1892, and was dead of tuberculosis in 1898. In between, an incredible body of highly original, highly distinctive illustrations. Even an amateur like me can recognize his style at a glance (even or unless it is the work of one of his countless imitators). Almost all done in black ink, they are full of feminine grace and simplicity, often incorporate abstraction, tend to forego three dimensional illusion, are relatively devoid of shading…and sometimes are quite obscene. On that note, we leave you with one of his illustrations for a volume of the plays of Aristophanes. I promise this will be the only fart cartoon you will ever see on Travalanche:

plate4

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,353 other followers

%d bloggers like this: