Aubrey Beardsley by Linda Gertner Zatlin: sample pages

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AUBREY BEARDSLEY A C ATA L O G U E R A I S O N N É

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aubrey Beardsley



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L I N DA G E RT N E R Z AT L I N

aubrey Beardsley A C ATA L O G U E R A I S O N N É

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P U B L I S H E D F O R T H E PAU L M E L L O N C E N T R E F O R S T U D I E S I N B R I T I S H A RT B Y YA L E U N I V E R S I T Y P R E S S • N E W H AV E N A N D L O N D O N



I

II

Preface

ix

Aubrey Beardsley: A Chronology

xxix

C ATA L O G U E

Salome

C ATA L O G U E •

1880–1888

Early Drawings, Japonesques and Grotesques 1889–1893

1

1893–1894

Yellow Book

1

1894–1895

Other Drawings I

75

Poster Designs

1894–1896

The Rape of the Lock

1892–1893

421

Savoy

1893–1896

485

Lysistrata

Bon-Mots Series

Keynotes Series

1892–1894

57

1894–1895

225

Le Morte Darthur

ix

xiii

A Note on the Catalogue

Juvenilia

A Note on the Catalogue

1895–1896

1896 •

183 205 229

1896

305

The Pierrot of the Minute

Mademoiselle de Maupin

1897

Other Drawings II

129

1896–1897

Volpone: or The Foxe

1896

1897–1898

325 337 353 391

Appendices

409

A Drawings in letters

410

B Drawings in books Beardsley owned

430

C Drawings in the record but without further trace

440

D Forgeries, parodies and omissions

446

Dramatis personae

460

Exhibitions

472

Archives

479

List of works consulted

481

General index

502

Index of works

526

Photograph credits 538 Acknowledgements

540



Other Drawings Ii 1896–1897


250

8

251

aubrey beardsley


251 Carl Maria von Weber 1892 Princeton University Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Aubrey Beardsley Collection Pen and ink on medium thick cream wove paper; 117/16 × 51/16 inches (289 × 129 mm) i n s c r i p t i o n s :  Recto in ink inscribed by the artist at top: c a r l m a r i a v o n w e b e r ; Verso in ink in another hand: Title von Weber / Aubrey Beardsley London / Owner Harriet C. Foss 1891 / size 51/8 × 111/2 / given by the artist to / Harriet C. Foss [American artist, 1860–1938] p r o v e n a n c e :  Given by the artist to Harriet

in a different way from Cézanne, tricking the eye in his own manner by showing the stage and von Weber’s feet from above and his figure flattened against the picture plane (for example, nos. 252 and 330 below; Zatlin 1997, pp. 129–30). The whip-like lines extending outward from that border will reappear in a more simplified form on the cover of Ernest Dowson’s Verses (no. 1055 below). By the time he made this drawing, Beardsley would have known Burne-Jones well enough to know that he scraped his paint to achieve highlights, a technique that may have stimulated Beardsley to use scraping in his drawings, as he does here, to simulate texture. Beardsley would develop this style during 1892. He later made another drawing of von Weber (no. 1028 below).

Campbell Foss, the stepmother of an Englishwoman; consigned to E. P. Dutton’s bookshop, New York; bt. A. E. Gallatin; given to Princeton University in 1948. e x h i b i t i o n s : Berlin 1907 (20, where listed for sale at 500 Marks); London 1966–8 (128); Tokyo 1997–8 (2); Princeton, NJ 1998–9 (17). l i t e r a t u r e : Gallatin 1945 (no. 776); Gallatin and

252 Klafsky 1892

Wainwright 1952 (no. 31); Reade 1967 (p. 313 n.29);

Princeton University Library, Princeton University,

Zatlin 1997 (pp. 129–30).

Princeton, NJ, Aubrey Beardsley Collection (RS237)

r e p r o d u c e d :  Later Work 1901 (plate 147); Gallatin

Pen, pencil, Indian ink and watercolour on medium

1900b (plate 7); Reade 1967 (plate 30).

A portrait of the German composer Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826), who like Chopin died young of tuberculosis. As in the drawing of Klafsky (no. 252 below), Beardsley tilted the floor, making it seem that von Weber is standing on a raked stage just behind a rug or a border that matches the one at the top. Similar to Japanese designers who placed figures against a background in such a way that the image appears to be merging with the scene behind, Beardsley created the same effect with this drawing. Von Weber may be on a raked stage, but the curving lines of the fanciful ground resemble wall rather than floor decoration, he has no shadow, and his cane seems too short for him to be leaning on it. Weber’s body, therefore, appears to float against a flat backdrop rather than to stand in front of a curtain on a stage. Moreover, in this early drawing – as in Klafsky, Virgilius and John Lumsden Propert – much less complicated than later ones, Beardsley defied both gravity and spatial placement

thick pale brown wove paper; 1213/16 × 411/16 inches (326 × 118 mm) i n s c r i p t i o n s :  Recto inscribed by the artist in ink at the top with the singer’s name spelled as pronounced in German: k l a f s k y / [at lower left]: i s o l d e ; Verso in pencil in another hand: e / 5 / D / RS 237 p r o v e n a n c e :  Reverend G. H. Palmer; James Tregaskis (bookseller) August 1901 (269); bt. A. E. Gallatin (by 1902); given to Princeton University in 1948. e x h i b i t i o n s :  New York 1911–12 (31), 1918 (68), 1920 (18), 1923 (423), 1923–4 (84, where titled ‘Klafsky as Isolde’), 1924–6, 1945 (14); Princeton, NJ 1949; London 1966–8 (130); Princeton, NJ 1998–9 (19). l i t e r a t u r e : Vallance 1897 (p. 203, where titled ‘Isolde’); White 14 May 1898 (p. 260); Vallance 1909 (no. 118); Gallatin 1945 (no. 982); Gallatin and Wainwright 1952 (51); Reade 1967 (p. 313 n.28, where titled ‘Katharina Klavsky’); Letters 1970 (p. 71); Heyd 1986 (pp. 169, 171, figure 63); Samuels Lasner 1995 (no. 137); Zatlin 1997 (pp. 79–80, 102); Sutton 2002 (pp. 62–3).

252

other drawings ii

9


525


526

528

Woman examining a Sundial

Man and Woman facing Right

Book IX, chapter xi

Book IX, chapter xvi

by 22 August 1893

by 22 August 1893

p r o v e n a n c e :  J. M. Dent.

Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Rosenwald

l i t e r a t u r e : Vallance 1897 (p. 202), 1909 (no. 59.xx);

Collection

Gallatin 1945 (nos. 345–624); Samuels Lasner 1995

Pen, brush and Indian ink over pencil on white paper;

(no. 22).

41/2 × 215/16 inches (114 × 75 mm)

r e p r o d u c e d :  Le Morte Darthur 1893–4 (p. 386).

i n s c r i p t i o n s : Verso laid down on brown paper from which drawing has been partially torn away:

Reproduced here from the book. Repeated in Book X, chapter lxxxvii, p. 635.

[in pencil]: n [illegible] 6 f l o w e r s :  Bay tree (glory). p r o v e n a n c e :  J. M. Dent; Frederick H. Evans; Anderson Galleries Frederick H. Evans sale 20 March

527

1919 (12); bt. Rosenbach Galleries, Rosenbach Galleries

Woman in the Snow holding Roses

(possibly in 1924); given to Library of Congress in 1941.

Book IX, chapter xiii 526

by 22 August 1893

Catalogue 48 May 1919 (10);  .  .  .  ; Lessing J. Rosenwald

e x h i b i t i o n s : London 1909b (30–50); Brighton, UK 1914–15 (33); Philadelphia 1919 (10); New York 1923–4 (96); London 1966–8 (50, exhibited in USA only).

Columbia University, New York, NY, Rare Book and

l i t e r a t u r e : Vallance 1897 (p. 202), 1909 (no. 59.xx);

Manuscript Library

Gallatin 1945 (nos. 345–624); Reade 1967 (p. 320 n.109);

Pen, brush and Indian ink on paper; 61/2 × 41/16 inches

Samuels Lasner 1995 (no. 22).

(166 × 113 mm) i n s c r i p t i o n s : Verso in pencil: 38/89 / 47o / reduce by 1/3 / [on verso of original mat in ink]: C 12 / [in pencil]: 22–3-7 / no. 12 f l o w e r s :  Rose [ball type] and leaf (love, passion). p r o v e n a n c e :  J. M. Dent;  .  .  .  ; Pickford Waller; by descent to Sybil Waller; Christie’s (London) sale 12 November 1965 (43); bt. Agnew; Agnew sale 14 June– 16 July 1966 (29);  .  .  .  ; Columbia University. e x h i b i t i o n : Tokyo 1997–8 (12). l i t e r a t u r e : Vallance 1897 (p. 202), 1909 (no. 59.xx); Gallatin 1945 (nos. 345–624); Samuels Lasner 1995 (no. 22). r e p r o d u c e d :  Le Morte Darthur 1893–4 (p. 389).

The trees lack foliage, and the white ground suggests snow. Traces of pencil reveal that Beardsley gave the figure of the woman less hair, a thinner neck, higher sleeves and shoulders and fuller sleeves at the elbow; her left hand was lower. 527

528

other drawings ii

11


July 1895; Pan II.ii (1896–7), p. 338; Early Work 1899 (no. 133); Best of Beardsley 1948 (plate 58); Reade 1967 (plate 382).

Henry Thornton Wharton translated the poetic fragments of Sappho, the sixth-century bce poet who lived on the island of Lesbos. The design is formally divided into three compartments, the whole bordered by a double-ruled frame, typical of Beardsley’s borders. The Greek letter psi, stylised to look like an ancient (late sixth-century bce) lyre, anchors each corner of the cover and emphasises the central design of an equally stylised (1890s) sixstringed lyre, balanced at each side with a psi, dotted to resemble a peacock feather. Two of these small dotted designs also trim the spine. Some suggestion of Rossetti’s early designs without their ‘marked asymmetricality’ pervades this cover (Fletcher 1987, p. 132). It was printed in gold on the front cover with blind embossing on the back cover. This cover design is an example of the manner in which Beardsley’s drawings are ‘all remarkable for their restraint, for meagre or minimal elegance’, an elegance found also in the aesthetic ideal held by poets such as Ernest Dowson and in the graphic art of Charles Ricketts (Reade 1967, p. 350 n.385).

954 Venus between Terminal Gods late Spring 1895 Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford, UK Pen, Indian ink and white gouache over traces of pencil on white wove paper; 83/4 × 77/16 inches (220 × 181 mm)

954

i n s c r i p t i o n s :  Recto inscribed in capital letters by the artist in ink at lower left: v e n u s.; Verso: [stamp of

Carrington;  .  .  .  ; Mathiesen, Ltd.; bt. Cecil Higgins Art

Cecil Higgins] / [in black pencil]: 4 / 2 / × 10 /

12

Gallatin 1945 (no. 861); Stanford 1967 (p. 23); Reade

Gallery in December 1957.

1967 (p. 350 n.387); Letters 1970 (p. 323); Lambert and

where[?] 10 Hunt[?] / N of [?] / 11.9 / Henry & Co /

e x h i b i t i o n s : Paris 1900 (20, where titled

Ratcliffe 1987 (p. 120); Fletcher 1987 (p. 152); Zatlin 1990

proof Mr. Beardsley

‘Frontispiece for Venus and Tannhäuser’; this or no. 942

(pp. 195–6); Samuels Lasner 1995 (no. 132); Snodgrass

f l o w e r s :  Grape (intoxication), apple (temptation),

above); London 1904a (68 or 87); Paris 1907 (3);

1995 (pp. 148, 150); Zatlin 1997 (p. 116); Wilson in Wilson

pear (affection), rose [face, plate, ball types] (love,

London 1909b (111); New York 1911–12 (85); Brighton,

and Zatlin 1998 (p. 243, n.135); Raby 1998 (p. 62).

passion), poppy (consolation, fantastic extravagance, sleep,

UK 1914–15 (possibly 6); New York 1923 (415); London

r e p r o d u c e d :  Second Book of Fifty Drawings 1899

my bane), pomegranate (foolishness), daisy (innocence).

1966–8 (441); Rotterdam 1975–6; Kanagawa, Japan 1998

(plate 42, where titled ‘Frontispiece for Venus and

p r o v e n a n c e :  H. Henry and Co.; bt. Leonard

(135).

Tannhäuser’); Later Work 1901 (no. 72, where titled

Smithers by 25 May 1897 [further details below]; John

l i t e r a t u r e : Vallance 1897 (p. 209), 1909 (no. 101);

‘Frontispiece for Venus and Tannhäuser’); Best of Beardsley

Lane (1904); Herbert J. Pollitt (by 1909);  .  .  .  ; Fitzroy

Macfall 1927 (pp. 148, 156, 163); May 1936 (p. 210);

1948 (plate 44); Reade 1967 (plate 386).

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aubrey beardsley


r e p r o d u c e d : As colour lithograph supplement to illustrate ‘The Herkomer School’, Studio VI, 31 (October 1895); Early Work 1899 (no. 24); Pan V.ii (1899/1900, p. 261); Birnbaum 1946 (plate 40); Best of Beardsley 1948 (plate 54); Walker Graphis 1950 (p. 251); Gaunt 1964 (figure 159); Reade 1967 (plate 391); Wilson 1983 (plate 39).

Beardsley was entranced by Richard Wagner’s operas, and he continued throughout his life to make drawings of the composer’s characters at decisive points in their stories. Stylistically, the young artist took cues from Whistler, who divorced morality from art, who advocated Pater’s phrase from The Renaissance that art should aspire to the condition of music, and whose titles were moods, and from Wilde’s dictum, modelled on Pater, that art should not mean, but be (Pater 1873, p. 140; Wilde ‘The Decay of Lying’, pp. 44). In some drawings, however, Beardsley also used symbols. By the summer of 1895, he had become practised at stripping away backgrounds and focusing on figures, adroitly capturing a ‘narrative’ through posture and rapt gaze, here seen in Isolde’s face. Such concentration did not endear Beardsley to the late Victorians, who preferred their art to express a clear narrative and an equally distinct moral. Beardsley places Isolde in front of a red (theatre) curtain, about to drink from the chalice she believes holds poison, but that in fact holds a love potion. Inscribed on the drawing, her name identifies her as Wagner’s tragic heroine. The poppy-shaped flowers with their vibrant green leaves and the ‘exotic butterfly’s wing’ outline of her hat intimate the transience of her life (Reade 1967, p. 351 n.392) as does the grey outline of her figure. Her clothing calls to mind other Beardsley women. Her hat, for example, is reminiscent of Salome’s hat in The Peacock Skirt and The Eyes of Herod, and that of the woman on the right in Black Coffee (nos. 866, 869, 922 above). The style of her gown links her with the New Woman: the suggestively buttoned overskirt, its frilled side panel opening like labia and the soft outline of her gown, emphasised by the bright red curtain, symbolise her adulterous passion. ‘The braided green counterweight of her necklace hangs down her back, a similarly patterned thick bracelet coils around her right wrist. Like the curl of hair on her right shoulder, both pieces of jewellery end in tassels, another Beardsleyan sexual

957

other drawings ii

13


A6a

A6b

A6c

A7

A8

To G. F. Scotson-Clark

To G. F. Scotson-Clark

early July 1891

early July 1891

Princeton University Library, Princeton University,

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Princeton, NJ, Aubrey Beardsley Collection

p r o v e n a n c e :  Bayard Wyman; Anderson Galleries

p r o v e n a n c e :  G. F. Scotson-Clark; Bayard Wyman,

Bayard Wyman sale 18 December 1928 (200);  .  .  .  ;

Anderson Galleries Bayard Wyman sale 18 December

Ogden Goelet; Parke-Bernet Goelet sale 23–24

1928 (201);  .  .  .  ; A. E. Gallatin; given to Princeton

November 1954 (623); Library of Congress.

University in 1948.

l i t e r a t u r e :  G. F. Scotson-Clark 1920 (Letter no. 2,

l i t e r a t u r e :  G. F. Scotson-Clark 1920 (Letter no. 1).

p. 9); Gallatin 1945 (no. 189).

r e p r o d u c e d :  Letters 1970 (pp. 19–20, text only).

r e p r o d u c e d :  Uncollected Work 1925 (nos. 58–67); Letters 1970 (pp. 20–1, text only).

A7

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aubrey beardsley

This letter discusses Beardsley’s visit to the Leyland collection and his application to the Herkomer School of Art. Underneath his postscript that mentions his enclosed photo, ‘a frightfosity [a pun on monstrosity]’, is a caricature self-portrait. After his visit to the Leyland house and collection, Beardsley looks perhaps sceptical of his own talent.

This four-page letter, known as the Peacock Room letter, contains on page two Beardsley’s beautiful watercolour reproduction of Whistler’s painting La Princesse du Pays de la Porcelaine (1863–5, Freer Gallery, Washington, DC), surrounded by blue peacocks. He comments in the letter: ‘Whistler has a large painting in his Peacock Room. I suppose this is what you mean by the Jap Girl painting a vase.


A8a

The figure is very beautiful and gorgeously painted, the colour being principally old gold’ (A8a; Uncollected Work, no. 58). There are five other pen sketches on pages two through four. Underneath Beardsley’s copy of Whistler’s Princesse is a sketch of an allée of trees (A8a) to which Beardsley makes no reference in the letter. On page three are a drawing of Mabel and Aubrey ‘Going through the rooms’, passing a footman standing at attention as they enter to view the Leyland collection of paintings (A8a), as well as a sketch, Beardsley enthuses, of a ‘wonderful little boy in the street (101/2 years old) who draws in

chalks on a large board. Subject a castle and sea surrounding it – done in grand style I can tell you’ (A8a; Uncollected Work, nos. 59, 67). The topmost sketch on page four is macabre: a gallows, from which hangs a skull, is surmounted by a raven in whose elliptically shaped body Beardsley has signed the letter (A8b; Uncollected Work, no. 61). A tiny sketch to the immediate right consists of the longlegged Beardsley seated at a drawing board making ‘enclose[d] Jap sketches. Official performances’ (A8b; Uncollected Work, no. 61). The last drawing on page four shows a grinning painter with limbs

fashioned of pens and nibs, holding a mahl stick (see no. 747 above), palette and brushes (A8b; Uncollected Work, no. 62). In his 1920 memoir of Beardsley, Scotson-Clark recalls that he gave the ‘Jap sketches’ (exact number unknown) to their Brighton Grammar School friend Mr Trist. These, which are lost, could be the three drawings recorded by Hind as belonging with this letter in Uncollected Work (nos. 64, 66, 65) and titled respectively The Dwarf of Philip IV (A8c), Autumn Moon (A8d) and 59 Charlwood St Sunday Midnight (A8e). Scotson-Clark further remembers

other drawings ii

15


AUBREY BEARDSLEY This is the first book to bring together the recorded works

thralled artists and art lovers the world over and continue to

of the English artist Aubrey Beardsley. Despite his early death

enthrall today.

from tuberculosis in 1898, at the age of 25, these amount to

Linda Gertner Zatlin’s text presents Beardsley’s drawings

more than 1200 and the book includes over 50 that have never

with a full record of their making, provenance, exhibition his-

previously been published.

tory and references in the art historical literature. This is ac-

In his brief career Beardsley made a defining contribution

companied by extensive discussions of their themes, motifs and

to Art Nouveau in Britain and abroad. He also influenced

symbolism, as well as their critical reception. Unprecedented

the early history of modern art, attracting the attention of

in its scope and thoroughness, this study presents Beardsley’s

the young Picasso, for example. His distinctive and innovatory

work and explores its meanings more comprehensively that

graphic style, combined with highly provocative, often sexual

any previous work on him, and is likely to remain definitive.

subject matter, outraged critics and led to a period of intense

This superbly illustrated two volume catalogue, beautifully

notoriety. Beardsley’s illustrations span the grotesque, the deli-

presented as a boxed set, is both an essential reference for spe-

cately beautiful, the subtly erotic, and the frankly bawdy, and

cialists and an accessible and enchanting delight for Beardsley

challenged the moral norms of Victorian society. They en-

enthusiasts.

B I B L I O G R A P H I C D E TA I L S

• Hardback £175.00 / $300.00 • March 2016 UK / May 2016 US • 978-0300-111279 2 volumes in a printed slipcase • 552 / 560 pages: 295 × 250 mm • 1100 b/w + 100 color illustrations

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