I had to include this pre-censored original illustration of one of the Salomé series with proof-reader’s stet mark, later amended with a decorous fig leaf for publication.
Here is one of the Bons Mots drawings, light relief for Beardsley from the hundreds of illustrations required for his first large commission Morte Darthur. Here are some of his recurring characters of a grotesque and a foetus.
This is a very rare drawing showing his working process (which he kept very private) before the pen and ink work. The paper was scrunched up so had probably been rescued from a bin.
The later works, influenced by French Rococo, are dazzling in their detail. I made pen and ink drawings in my late teens and can vouch for the painstaking effort required.
It affected my eyesight though fortunately not his. Mind you, as he died at the age of 25 we’ll never know.
More to follow in my next post.