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Aubrey Beardsley: A Biography

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  49 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Like Oscar Wilde, Beardsley was a leading member of the Decadent movement in England during the 1890s. Together they shocked the press and the establishment by cultivating the pose of dandies, coolly removed from prevailing social mores, and took aim at the dominant figures of the late 19th-century art world: moralizing critic John Ruskin and the sentimental pre-Raphaelite ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by The Overlook Press (first published March 16th 1998)
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Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Solid and competent biography of an elusive and I think ultimately insubstantial character. Beardsley was influential in the growth of the aesthetic movement and Art Nouveau in the 1890s. His career was brief and cut short by his untimely death from tuberculosis. Beardsley produced some very competent and ground breaking drawings, along with some truly awful poetry.
Sturgis sets out to demythologize Bearsdley and succeds well. His sexuality remains unclear but that is not surprising beacuase the
Sherwood Smith
What came to be called art nouveau, or art deco, was in part an inspiration of Aubrey Beardsley, whose illustrations came into vogue when I was young, though many of them were not reproduced as being too scandalizing. Little or nothing was written about the artist, except for some suppressive statements equating him with the decadent absinthe-drinking crowd around Oscar Wilde.

So I was delighted to find this sympathetic, witty biography that goes into quite a bit of detail about Beardsley's very
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aubrey Beardsley was only 25 when he died (Oscar Wilde was quoted as saying, 'he died at the age of a flower') but in his short life he had made a name for himself as one of the defining figures of the 1890s with his sometimes outrageous draughtsmanship and his very striking and original black and white art. But not everyone liked him or his work and he sparked many and varied reactions wherever he went.

He was born in Brighton on 21 August 1872 but moved to London's Notting Hill at a young age w
Rohase Piercy
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this thoughtful, balanced biography of an outrageous fin-de-siècle character whose innovative art has become forever identified with the 'Decadent' movement of the 1890s. There's a good balance between discussion of Beardsley's art and his character, and some of the more sensational myths doing the rounds (eg that he had an incestuous relationship with his sister Mabel) are de-bunked. Like David Bowie, Aubrey Beardsley lived through a persona, or series of personae, and his personal ...more
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