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Aubrey Beardsley Matthew Sturgis

Aubrey Beardsley

Matthew Sturgis

Published
ISBN : 9780006550563
Paperback
416 pages
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 About the Book 

Diagnosed with tuberculosis at age 7, the talk of London before he turned 22, and dead at 25, Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was a textbook example of the doomed artist he and his fellow decadents admired so much. British journalist and art criticMoreDiagnosed with tuberculosis at age 7, the talk of London before he turned 22, and dead at 25, Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was a textbook example of the doomed artist he and his fellow decadents admired so much. British journalist and art critic Matthew Sturgis paints an evocative picture of the cultural milieu that shaped Beardsley, with its ferocious rivalry between the idealistic Pre-Raphaelites and the more sardonic English impressionists, who ultimately claimed Beardsleys loyalty (though the ambitious teenager initially gained the patronage of Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones). The authors portrait of Beardsley is equally vivid, limning both his dandified affectations and underlying sweetness, his dedication to art and the distaste for sustained work that made him the despair of his publishers. Beardsleys unique black-and-white drawings--perfect for the new technology of mass reproduction--made a sensation, first with the commissioned artwork for Malorys Le Morte DArthur and Wildes Salome, then in the bold periodical he founded with friends, The Yellow Book. But Wildes trial for gross indecency tainted Beardsley (though Sturgiss take is that he was more likely a virgin than a homosexual)- he was fired from The Yellow Book- and his tuberculosis worsened along with his commercial prospects. The author depicts his subjects agonized final months with the same judicious sympathy he trains on The Beardsley Boom of 1894. --Wendy Smith