Aubrey Beardsley | Lysistrata, facsimile prints (np,nd [c. 1967?])
9 1/8″ x 12″, 8pp. [2 quarto pages printed in light purple ink on one side, folded, but not cut], soft cover, some bumping, rubbing, and wrinkling but good+ condition for age.
Unable to find any information on this portfolio. I assume it was printed in the US shortly after 1966 (when it became legal). I also assume it was printed in light blue because photocopiers of the time (think big Xerox machines) interpreted light blue as white and therefore would not be able to reproduce these images.
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898) was an English illustrator and author. He was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era and a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. His illustrations were in black and white and often emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. Some of his drawings, inspired by Japanese shunga woodcuts, featured enormous genitalia. His most famous erotic illustrations concerned themes of history and mythology; these include his illustrations for a privately printed edition of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, and his drawings for Oscar Wilde’s play Salome. Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis at age 25. Beardsley was a public as well as private eccentric. He said, “I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing.” Wilde said he had “a face like a silver hatchet, and grass green hair.” Beardsley was meticulous about his attire: dove-grey suits, hats, ties; yellow gloves. He would appear at his publisher’s in a morning coat and patent leather pumps. In 1897, a year before his death Beardsley converted to Roman Catholicism and subsequently begged his publishers (in vain) to “destroy all copies of Lysistrata and bad drawings… by all that is holy all obscene drawings.”