Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain
Review

The Aubrey Beardsley exhibition at Tate Britain is framed as an ultimate and comprehensive account of the artist’s life, work, and legacy. Miriam Al Jamil approaches the show with a series of questions: what conclusions might the visitor draw and would these be fair and accurate reflections of Beardsley’s short but intense career? […]

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A Peacock Is a Poem
After Aubrey Beardsley

Dr Golnoosh Nour’s poem explores the definitions and ramifications of poetry as an art form through a Beardsleyesque lens. ‘A Peacock is a Poem’ is inspired by Beardsley’s decadent illustrations as well as his use of language in the unfinished queer tale ‘Under the Hill’ (1896). […]

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Aubrey Beardsley’s Messalina: Going, or Coming?

In this previously unpublished paper, Simon Wilson clarifies a long-standing confusion regarding the titles of the two drawings of the notorious Roman empress Messalina created by Beardsley in 1895 and 1896. Wilson also establishes the designs’ close correspondence to the text of Juvenal’s Sixth Satire thus busting the myth of the irrelevance of Beardsley’s drawings to the literary works he illustrated. […]

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The Queer Little Grove: The Adoption of Aubrey Beardsley by Mikhail Kuzmin

This article explores one of the many aspects of Aubrey Beardsley’s transnational legacy, focusing on his appropriation by Mikhail Kuzmin (1872–1936), a key modernist writer and a seminal voice of the emerging homosexual subculture in Russia. While Kuzmin often used Beardsley as a signifier of homoeroticism in his literary works and life-writing, it is in his play Little Grove (1922) that the queering of Beardsley is crystallised. My intermedial analysis of the piece will show how allusions to Beardsley shape Kuzmin’s representation of gender and sexuality and how the formal construction of Kuzmin’s publication echoes the formal features of Beardsley’s graphic designs. […]

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Staging Artifice: Aubrey Beardsley and 114 Cambridge Street

Ruth Smith explores Beardsley’s self-fashioning through his home in Pimlico, London, and the new resonance of the artist’s practices during the 2020 worldwide lockdown. Domestic interiors are often performative extensions of the self, and are perhaps even more so in this time of coronavirus. Like Beardsley’s, our homes have become a space where the personal, the public, and the realms of leisure and work have come to reside. […]

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like three Salomes

Nic Stringer’s poem ‘like three Salomes’ is from the collection Hemispheres, to be published by Guillemot Press in 2021; three Salomes (triptych) is part of the accompanying visual project. Sound and music, created in collaboration with Fractured Strings, will also be available in 2021. […]

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Beardsley, A Cover Boy for Sexual Revolution

The image of Aubrey Beardsley has been long enveloped in an aura of notoriety with distinctly erotic overtones. He has been seen as a rebel figure in the era of militant Victorian prudery. Sasha Dovzhyk argues that the myth of Beardsley as a Victorian sexual liberator was forged in 1966 when the V&A dedicated a major exhibition to the artist and displayed his most explicit works for the first time. […]

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The Afterlives of Beardsley’s Morte Darthur Illustrations

Beardsley’s illustrations for J. M. Dent’s edition of the Morte Darthur (1893–4) have often been deemed to bear an unusually tenuous relation to the Arthurian narrative. Out of approximately 500 illustrations, only the 20 full-page illustrations address identifiable moments in the narrative. Despite their supposed inaptness to Malory’s text, Dent and his successors have continued to reuse the illustrations in subsequent editions of the Morte Darthur. […]

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The Missing Keyhole: An Aubrey Beardsley Minor Mystery

How La Beale Isoud Wrote to Sir Tristram (1893) is one of Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations for Le Morte Darthur, published by JM Dent in 1894. It shows Isoud seated writing at a desk in an interior. Beyond her is a wall with twin windows and underneath these is a pair of identical, or almost identical, floor-standing chests or coffers. In the original drawing, which is extant in a private collection in London, the one on the right has a keyhole, but the other has not. […]

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