Ali Baba (Cover design for "The Forty Thieves")
Inspired by the style of Japanese woodcuts which were becoming known in the West, hia work emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic, although as a life long sufferer of TB, his decadence was solely in his imagation. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley's contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis. In six short years, he had broken though Victorian rules of illustration which emphasized the pretty and the prissy and introduced a revolutionary look which combined a sensuous line with eroticism and humor.
In 1892, Beardsley travelled to Paris, where he discovered the poster art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and the Parisian fashion for Japanese prints, both of which would be major influences on his own style. Beardsley's first commission was Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory (1893), which he illustrated for the publishing house J. M. Dent and Company. Illustrations from Le More d'Arthur: http://artpassions.net/beardsley/beardsley.html
|The Peacock Skirt|
|The dancer's reward. Salome.|
New Yorker: The faith behind his art.
Images from Wikipedia