Aubrey Vincent Beardsley

1 portrait of Aubrey Vincent Beardsley

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, by Frederick Henry Evans, circa 1894 - NPG P114 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley

by Frederick Henry Evans
platinum print, circa 1894
5 3/8 in. x 3 7/8 in. (136 mm x 97 mm)
Given by Robert R. Steele, 1939
Primary Collection
NPG P114

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A friend and patron of Beardsley, Evans was responsible for obtaining some of his earliest commissions for book illustrations. When this photograph was taken in the summer of 1894, Beardsley was already dying of tuberculosis. He was busy working on illustrations to Wagner's Tannhauser, but was so weak that he spent much of his time sitting about moping. The photograph captures this aspect of him - with his long, thin fingers, his watery eyes and his fine profile, described by Oscar Wilde as like 'a silver hatchet'. Beardsley was delighted with the result and wrote to Evans on 20 August 1894: 'I think the photos are splendid; couldn't be better'.

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  • NPG P115: Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (variant version)

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