Aubrey Beardsley at the Tate: ‘Quite Mad and a Little Indecent’

The Black Cape (left) and The Climax, illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salome, 1893, by Aubrey Beardsley. Line block print on paper. (Courtesy Tate)
Suffering from TB, he indulged a unique vision.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A ubrey Beardsley (1872–1898) was tubercular from childhood and knew he’d probably die young. As an artist he worked with urgency, and that’s why his drawings look like a linear pressure cooker. He was as focused and fervent as a missionary. His gospel? To make art that created, in his words, “a new world of my own . . . quite mad and a little indecent.”

Mad, indecent, pungent, dreamy, and more. Aubrey Beardsley is the new exhibition at the Tate showing a rich, comprehensive selection of his drawings. It’s a retrospective of his career and striking in every respect. Bring your

(Wilson Centre for Photography)

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