AT

Sturgis, Matthew

Aubrey Beardsley: A biography

When Aubrey Beardsley died in 1898, he was aged only 25. In his short but crowded career he had become one of the defining figures of the fin-de-siècle a precocious draughtsman who redefined the limits of black-and-white art. His erotic, decadent illustrations for Oscar Wilde´s Salome set the tone for his style: by turns shocking, facetious and cruel. Beloved by Burne-Jones, cursed by William Morris, he was the intimate of Wilde, the rival of Whistler, the friend of Beerbohm, Sickert, Ada Leverson and William Rothenstein. His deliberate manipulation of press and public, his awareness of both art and the market-place, made him one of the first truly modern artists.

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