Tuesday: 5 of 6

Lysistrata (1896) by Aubrey Beardsley.

Tuesday: 6 of 6

Vintage Monday: 2 of 6

Aubrey Beardsley was only 26 when he died and yet his work
has been quite influential.

 Hata Deli is a mystery but his work is quite distinctive. The suggestion is that Hata Deli was a male, living in the early part of the 20th Century, possibly drawing in the 1930’s. There is a strong art deco and classical influence with, perhaps, even a nod towards Aubrey Beardsley.


Aubrey Beardsley

Must admit, have framed prints of Beardsley drawings in my small dining room. Also have bound reproductions of some of his most famous works. I use them to shock serious history students!

Aubrey Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his later work.
Some of his drawings, inspired by Japanese shunga, featured enormous genitalia. His most famous erotic illustrations were on themes of history and mythology, including his illustrations for Aristophanes’ Lysistrata and Wilde’s Salomé.
Beardsley illustrated Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé – the play eventually premiered in Paris in 1896.
He also produced extensive illustrations for books and magazines (e.g. for a deluxe edition of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur) and worked for magazines like The Savoy and The Studio.
Beardsley also wrote Under the Hill, an unfinished erotic tale based loosely on the legend of Tannhäuser.

Although Beardsley was aligned with the homosexual clique that included Oscar Wilde and other English aesthetes, the details of his sexuality remain in question. He was generally regarded as asexual—which is hardly surprising, considering his chronic illness and his devotion to his work. Speculation about his sexuality include rumors of an incestuous relationship with his elder sister, Mabel, who may have become pregnant by her brother and miscarried.

Through his entire career, Beardsley had recurrent attacks of the disease that would end it. He suffered frequent lung hemorrhages and was often unable to work or leave his home.

Beardsley’s emphasis of the erotic element is present in many of his drawings, but nowhere as boldly as in his illustrations for Lysistrata which were done for a privately printed edition at a time when he was totally out of favor with polite society.