Sunday, November 20, 2011

Unusual Beardsley

If, like me, you've been wondering what to do with that spare 10-15,000 GBP that's been burning a hole in your pocket recently then you might consider popping into Christie's London on December 15th. It's there that you'll find this charcoal drawing by Aubrey Beardsley of... Aubrey Beardsley. Unfortunately, the online catalogue gives no details of provenance, one can only assume that somewhere like Christies will have done their research and that their experts will be convinced that it is what they say it is...

Quite an unusual image of AB nonetheless. Clearly he is younger (in a life where he was only ever young) than in most photographic representations we have. He looks to be little more than a boy here, and I suppose that might explain also the style. He seems, even so, to have depicted himself as having somewhat finer features than we are used to from photos of him even just a little later in his short life.

5 comments:

John C said...

It looks to me like one of Aubrey's, not least because the pose and outline is almost exactly the same as an oddity I discovered in the pages of The Chap-Book:

http://www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2010/10/25/illustrating-poe-1-aubrey-beardsley/

I've never seen that drawing reproduced anywhere else so there's no way of knowing whether it's Aubrey's work or a copy of something similar by one of the Chap-Book artists such as Will Bradley.

notker said...

Sorry to be such a terrible old pedant but it's a Sotheby's sale and the display page allows one to click on "Catalogue Notes & Provenance" for furthe details. This tells us that it's from the John Lane collection which I guess means that it's attribution to AB is pretty unassailable.

Callum said...

I realise I might have given the wrong impression in the text of my post. I was in no way suggesting I didn't believe Sotheby's attribution, but clearly I hadn't found the attribution link. John, it certainly does have a resemblance to the picture in your post.

CJ

Jimmy said...

It has that Simeon Solomon/PRB quality that earlyish Beardsley drawings have. Portaits of him by others seem to make rather more use of his, er, unique profile.

keith spon Hanneford said...

I wonder if this is in fact a drawing of his sister, it does show a deal of emotion, we are su used to seeing Beardsley as the louche illustrator that we forget what a superb artist he was

 
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