The Works of the “Enfant Terrible” Aubrey Beardsley at the Tate Britain

The Works of the “Enfant Terrible” Aubrey Beardsley at the Tate Britain
#Exhibitions

Like a comet, Aubrey Beardsley illuminated the world of illustration but his seductive light was too short-lived. But in only seven years of work as an artist, dying tragically at only 25 years old, he was quite prolific, producing hundreds of drawings for books, magazines and posters. Today, the Tate Britain pays homage to him with a majestic exhibition that brings together over two-hundred works, offering the public a number of original drawings. Certainly a child prodigé, he was also subversive, illustrating Salome, the controversial play by Oscar Wilde in 1893 and with this work, he sealed his affinity with the equally rebellious and anti-conformist British author of the end of the 1800s, portraying on paper the rapport between Love and Death. Among his other illustrations, those for the The Death of King Arthur by Thomas Malory in 1893-1894 and The Rape of Lock by Alexander Pope in 1896, of which five original drawings are on display. The inspirations found in his work, a forerunner of Art Nouveau but also distinctly grotesque, are many. He drew upon Ancient Greece and Japanese wood printing, from the Rococò and prohibited French literature. He looked to the artists of his time as well and many of their works are also on display to offer a better view of the context of Beardsley’s work and life. Among them, Gustave Moreau, Edward Burne-Jones and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Vittoria Giusti - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London