Aubrey Beardsley, 1872-1898


Biographical note

Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his later work. His most famous work includes his illustrations for Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Oscar Wilde's play Salomé.

He produced extensive illustrations for books and magazines and was also a caricaturist and political cartoonist, mirroring Wilde's irreverent wit in art. Beardsley also wrote Under the Hill, an unfinished erotic tale based loosely on the legend of Tannhäuser.

Beardsley's work reflected the decadence of his era and his influence was enormous, clearly visible in the work of the French Symbolists, the Poster art Movement of the 1890s and the work of many later-period Art Nouveau artists.

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