Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, 1872–98,
was an illustrator and writer, born in Brighton, England. Beardsley
exemplifies the aesthetic movement in English art of the 1890s. In
his short working span of only six years, he developed a superbly
artificial and graphic manner, expressed in flat, linear, black-and-white
designs. His works were by turns erotic and cruel in emphasis. The art
editor of the famous Yellow Book quarterly (1894–96), Beardsley
also edited and contributed some of his best work to Leonard Smithers'
periodical, The Savoy, and illustrated many books including Wilde's
Salomé (1894), Pope's Rape of the Lock (1896), Aristophanes' Lysistrata
(privately pub., 1896), and Jonson's Volpone (1898). His fiction,
distinguished by an elaborate and erudite prose style, was collected
and published in 1904 as Under the Hill. Criticized for the erotic
character of his work and condemned for his association with Oscar Wilde,
Beardsley fell from public favor. Ravaged by tuberculosis, he died at the
age of 25.