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Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley, by James Russell & Sons, circa 1890 -NPG P43 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aubrey Beardsley

by James Russell & Sons
Sepia albumen cabinet print, circa 1890
5 5/8 in. x 4 in. (143 mm x 102 mm)

This portraitback to top

James Russell was the founder of Messrs J. Russell & Sons, a photographic studio established in 1852. The firm was granted the royal warrant in 1897; there were branches in Baker Street, London, and in Windsor. James’s sons set up further successful studios in Chichester, Landport, Wimbledon and Worthing.[1] The mount for NPG P43 carries the coat of arms of Edward VII (r. 1901–10) which indicates a continuing demand for the Beardsley image.

This photograph is the most formal, least controversial of the known images. It was reproduced the week after Beardsley’s death by the Illustrated London News and Black & White.[2] He does not refer to the sitting in his correspondence. A rare, variant pose appeared at Bonhams, 23 March 2010 (25).

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

[1] The Wimbledon studio, James Russell & Sons (Photographers) Ltd., is still in operation.
[2] Obituaries, ILN, 26 Mar. 1898, p.429, halftone; Black & White, 26 Mar. 1898, p.426.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length to left, head slightly turned to front.

Provenanceback to top

Christie's South Kensington, 30 June 1977, lot 175.

Exhibitionsback to top

Aubrey Beardsley: A Centenary Tribute, Kawasaki City Museum, Kanagawa; Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama; and Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan, 1998 (1).

Reproductionsback to top

Snodgrass 1995, p.29.

Wilson & Zatlin 1998, p.38.

See note 2 for reproductions of other prints of this image.

View all known portraits for Aubrey Vincent Beardsley



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