Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
1 portrait of Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
- Extended Catalogue Entry
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
Click on the links below to find out more:
This portraitback to top
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'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Victorian Portraits Resource Pack, p. 31
- Funnell, Peter, Victorian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 31
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 8
- Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 141
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 162
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 162
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 41
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 165
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Aubrey Beardsley: Artist and Aesthete (14 July 2015 - 16 March 2016)
Events of 1894back to top
Current affairsFollowing Gladstone's resignation, Queen Victoria calls on the Liberal MP Archibald Primrose, the 5th Earl of Rosebery to become Prime Minister, a position he reluctantly accepts. His government is largely unsuccessful as the Tory-dominated House of Lords stop the whole of the Liberal's domestic legislation, and his foreign policy plans are defeated by internal Liberal disagreements.
Art and scienceThe Prince of Wales opens Tower Bridge, built over the Thames to improve access to the growing commercial district of the East End. The bridge was constructed from two bascules, or leaves, which could be raised to allow ships to pass underneath. Rudyard Kipling's hugely popular collection of children's stories, The Jungle Book, are published. The stories, based on Kipling's own experiences in India, have been adapted many times.
InternationalThe arrest and court-martial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery officer, opens up divisions in France over anti-semitism continuing until Dreyfus's exoneration in 1906. The French President Sadi Carnot is assassinated by an Italian anarchist in Lyon. Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia following the death of Alexander III. Japan and China go to war over control of Korea, with the more modern Japanese army winning an easy victory.
See this portrait
On display in Room 29 at the National Portrait Gallery
Exhibitions and displays
- Aubrey Beardsley: Artist and Aesthete
Until 6 March