"Aubrey Vincent Beardsley was an English illustrator and author. His drawings, executed in black ink and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley's contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau style and the poster movement was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis. "
I was seduced by Arthur already when I was quite young, and thereby also by Aubrey. I read Tolkien at the age of 10 and counted myself as a medievalist since then. I love everything medieval, like the Arts and Crafts movement in England, and these medieval style book illustrations are one of my favorites.
I also love Beardsley's lines and ornamental filling of the background, as you probably can guess by now :-D I am also enchanted by the surreal, dreamlike quality with people whose proportions aren't quite correct... and all the little demons and monsters hiding everywhere. Reminds me of Kay Nielsen.
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