Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
4 of 7 portraits of Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
- Extended catalogue entry
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
by Walter Richard Sickert
Pen and black ink on cream paper, circa 1894
9 1/2 in. x 9 in. (241 mm x 229 mm)
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Inscriptionback to top
Signed in brown ink lower right: Sickert.
This portraitback to top
Sickert painted a whole-length sketch in distemper of Beardsley in July 1894. The first volume of The Yellow Book had been assembled earlier that year and was published in April; Sickerts sketch was reproduced in the second volume, in July 1894. Beardsley had been nominated The Yellow Books art editor and Sickert was one of the first he approached to contribute drawings to the quarterly. Sickert also gave Beardsley his first and last lesson in painting and advised him on the ratio of black to white in his drawings; the two men knew each other through New English Art Club circles and from visits to Normandy coastal resorts such as Dieppe in the 1890s.
NPG 1967 is unrelated to the whole-length though it probably belongs to the same year. It is believed to have been drawn in the Beardsleys drawing-room at 114 Cambridge Street, Pimlico and (unusually) captures Beardsley in an unselfconscious pose, hunched away from the viewer. Another Cambridge Street drawing by Sickert showing Beardsley seated to the left in a winged armchair, c.1895, is presently untraced.
Footnotesback to top
1) Tate, NO4655; exh. Van Wisselinghs Dutch Gallery, 1895 (3).
2) Yellow Book, vol.2, July 1894, p.223; Baron 1973, p.307.
3) Maas, Duncan & Good 1971, p.61; and Sturgis 2005, p.212.
4) Baron 1973, p.39; and Sturgis 2005, p.214.
5) Browse 1943, cat.9a, p.38 (ill.). The drawing has been mistaken (Sitwell 1947, p.31) for a Beardsley self-portrait, the word Sickert misread as sickest.
Physical descriptionback to top
Half-length, profile to left, bent over.
Provenanceback to top
Purchased from Messrs Ernest Brown and Phillips, The Leicester Galleries, 1922.
Exhibitionsback to top
Aubrey Beardsley, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1967; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 19678 (484).
The Drawings of Walter Richard Sickert, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 1979 (8).
From Beardsley to Beaverbrook: Portraits by Walter Richard Sickert, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 1990 (9).
Aubrey Beardsley: A Centenary Tribute, Kawasaki City Museum, Kanagawa; Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama; and Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan, 1998 (4).
Reproductionsback to top
Beardsley 1925, pl.6.
Reade 1967, frontispiece.
Maas, Duncan & Good 1971, dustjacket and following p.224.
View all known portraits for Aubrey Vincent Beardsley