Aubrey Beardsley, 'The Abbé'

Aubrey Beardsley, 'The Abbé'

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98)
'The Abbé'
1896
Pen and ink, over faint traces of pencil
Illustration to the artist's unfinished novel, 'Under the Hill'; first published in 'The Savoy', no.1, January 1896
Museum no. E.305-1972
Purchased from the collection of Ralph Harari, with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund 1896

In 1895 Beardsley abandoned the decadent style that he had used in the 'Yellow Book' in favour of a style reminiscent of old engravings. He borrowed from his friend Robert Ross a copy of the 1893 'Memoir of Edward Calvert' and it seems that the luxurious vegetation of Calvert's prints influenced Beardsley's drawing of decorative foliage.