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Aubrey Beardsley: A Slave to Beauty
by David Colvin
ISBN 1566490138 / 9781566490139 / 1-56649-013-8
Publisher Welcome Rain
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Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, illustrator and writer, was the most notorious and outstanding artist of the fin de si?cle. His disturbing erotic drawings shocked the sensibilities of the Victorians and his friendship and collaboration with Oscar Wilde has secured his place in the pantheon of great artists of the 19th century. Jaques-Emile Blanche's portrait of Bearsley, his face 'like a silver hatchet', is the enduring image of this fabulously talented man who died at the age of just 25. Beardsley's most important illustrations were for Wilde's Salome, Popes The Rape of the Lock, The Lysistrata of Aristophanes and Jonson's Valpone. He was art editor of the hugely influential Yellow Book from which he was dismissed following the arrest of Wilde becoming thereafter the creative editor of the 'Savoy' magazine. He went on to write the highly erotic romance The Story of Venus and Tannhauser which was published in an unexpurgated version as Under the Hill. This extraordinary man created some of the most striking and enduring images of the last one hundred years. His influence on Oscar Wilde and his circle was profound and his achievements in such a short life is one of the great literary and artistic stories of the 19th century. [via]