A Book of Fifty Drawings by Aubrey Bearsdley

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Delve deeper into the work of Aubrey Beardsley with the reissue of this classic 1897 illustrated book containing fifty of his best known works.

During his lifetime Beardsley’s subversive illustrations became synonymous with decadence: he delighted in the erotic, shocking audiences with his bizarre sense of humour and fascination with the grotesque. His work was deemed too scandalous by many publishers of the period, but found a suitably unseemly home with the notorious Leonard Charles Smithers (1861–1907). Shortly before his death, with his health in steep decline Beardsley converted to Roman Catholicism and asked Smithers to 'destory all copies of Lysistrata and bad drawings'. Smithers dutifully ignored his wishes and went on to sell many reproductions and forgeries of his work.

An original copy of A Book of Fifty Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley is held in Tate’s own library and is part of the Aubrey Beardsley exhibition at Tate Britain.

The reissue features a new introduction by Alice Insley, Assistant Curator, Historic British Art at Tate Britain.

Artist: Aubrey Bearsdley

Hardcover  Published April 2020  128 pages

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