Thursday, 7 March 2013

Aubrey Beardsley – part 2


Aubrey Beardsley by Walter Richard Sickert 1894 
tempera on canvas 76.2 x 31.1 cm

Aubrey Beardsley (1872 – 1898) was an English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink, influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasised the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James McNeill Whistler. Beardsley's contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis at the age of 25.

This is part 2 of a 7-part post on the works of Aubrey Beardsley. For biographical notes and for earlier works see part 1: 


1893 The Landslip 
frontispiece to Pastor Sang

1893 The Studio Vol. 1 No. 1. 
Front cover

1893 The Studio Vol. 1 No. 1. 
The Birthday of Madame Cigale 
graphite, ink, grey wash heightened with white 24.9 x 39 cm

1893 The Studio Vol. 1 No. 1. 
Les Revenants de Musique

1893 The Studio Vol. 1 No. 1. 
Siegfried Act II

1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget 
Master Leo


1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget
Margery

1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget
The Disappointment of Emile Zola

1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget
Emile Zola

1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget
The Pilgrim ( Old Style )


1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget 
The Pilgrim ( New Style )

1893-94 The Pall Mall Budget 
Bullet-Proof Uniform - Tommy Atkins Thinks it Rather Fun

1892-94 Le Morte d’Arthur

This edition of Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur was published in 1892 by J. M. Dent. Unlike the more elitist fine presses of the time, such as Kelmscott and Doves, Dent produced books priced to be accessible to a large audience. Titles were mass-produced and costs were kept to a minimum by utilising the latest methods of mechanical reproduction. Bindings were likewise a low-cost item, often of heavy paper stock mechanically printed, as in the Library's complete, twelve-instalment example.

Illustrated by the young Aubrey Beardsley. His style of illustration at the time, with its elegant lines executed in high-contrast black and white, perfectly fit Dent's production values. With this work Beardsley found a broad popular audience—it was, in fact, this project that allowed him to give up his day job as an office-worker and pursue an artistic career.


Design for Front Cover of Bound Volumes of Le Morte d'Arthur

Cover of Le Morte d'Arthur

A Modern Edition

Alternative cover design

How King Arthur Saw the Questing Beast ( Frontispiece )
Title page for Vol. I

Design for title page

Book I. Chapter I

Merlin Taketh the Child Arthur into His Keeping

The Lady of the Lake Telleth Arthur of the Sword Excalibur

Book II. Chapter I

Book III. Chapter I

Book IV. Chapter I

Arthur and the Strange Mantle

Book V. Chapter I

Book VI. Chapter I

How Four Queens found Launcelot Sleeping  
graphite, ink, red chalk 31 x 24 cm

Sir Launcelot and the Witch Hellawes

Book VII. Chapter I

Book VIII. Chapter I

How La Beale Isoud Nursed Sir Tristram 
graphite and ink 28.4 x 22.3 cm

How Sir Tristram Drank of the Love Drink

Book IX. Chapter I

How La Beale Isoud Wrote to Sir Tristram

How King Marke Found Sir Tristram

How Morgan Le Fay Gave a Shield to Sir Tristram 
ink on paper 21.1 x 27 cm

Book X. Chapter I

How King Mark and Sir Dinadan Heard Sir Palomides ( left-hand page )

How King Mark and Sir Dinadan Heard Sir Palomides ( right-hand page )

How King Mark and Sir Dinadan Heard Sir Palomides ( spread )

La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard ( left-hand page )

La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard ( right-hand page )

La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard ( spread )

Book XI. Chapter I

Book XII. Chapter I

How Sir Launcelot was Known by Dame Elaine ( left-hand page )

How Sir Launcelot was Known by Dame Elaine ( right-hand page )

How Sir Launcelot was Known by Dame Elaine ( spread )

Book XIII. Chapter I

Book XIV. Chapter I

Book XV. Chapter I

Book XVI. Chapter I

How a Devil in Woman's Likeness Would Have Tempted Sir Bors ( left-hand page )

How a Devil in Woman's Likeness Would Have Tempted Sir Bors ( right-hand page )

How a Devil in Woman's Likeness Would Have Tempted Sir Bors ( spread )

Book XVII. Chapter I

Book XVIII. Chapter I

Book XIX. Chapter I

Le Morte d'Arthur continues in part 3.

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