This article explores the reception of Aubrey Beardsley in Russia concentrating on new gendered meanings acquired by ‘Beardsleyism’ in modernist Russian culture. While the so-called ‘Beardsley Woman’ became a widely discussed literary construct and journalistic trope in Britain, the imagination of Russian artists and literati was captured by a ‘Beardsley Man’. Due to the circulation of the artist’s portraits and descriptions by modernist periodicals such as Mir iskusstva (World of art; 1899–1904) and Vesy (Libra; 1904–1909), a specific form of male (self-)representation emerged in the homophile art circles of St Petersburg and Moscow. Exploring this new urban Russian masculinity, I use the case studies of four men who were compared to Beardsley or used Beardsley as a model in their work and self-fashioning: artist Nikolai Feofilaktov, poet Georgii Ivanov, writers Mikhail Kuzmin and Iurii Iurkun.
You can access the full text of the article online: Modernist Cultures, Volume 16 Issue 2, pp. 191-215. https://doi.org/10.3366/mod.2021.0328
The cost of images was covered by the Alessandra Wilson Fund.