2 x The Lysistrata of Aristophanes [After Aubrey Beardsley]

Regular price £195.00

A pair of dark erotic prints after Aubrey Beardsley (1872 - 1898), the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era.

They depict two scenes from ‘The Lysistrata of Aristophanes’, issued by Leonard Smithers in 1896, and feature Beardsley’s elegant, yet grotesque, illustrative style. The first is entitled ‘Lysistrata Haranguing the Athenian Women’ and the second ‘Two Athenian Woman in Distress’.

As you can imagine, in the Victorian era, many were aghast to see such imagery. It was a time when society would prefer to view woman as demure and passive rather than sexually predatory and empowered.

The subversive nature of Beardsley’s illustrations often made them hard to publish and many stayed within the confines of his sketchbook. But in 1893, a drawing based on the original French publication of Salomé, which had been rejected by a British magazine, found its way into the hands of Oscar Wilde. He was so enamoured with it, that he commissioned ten illustrations and a cover for the English edition. The two of them remained friends until Beardsley’s untimely death in 1898 at just 26.

These particular prints are unusual due to their green decorative printed border. We’ve not been able to find anything similar online.

Size including frames
17⅔” x 12½” / 45cm x 32cm
Year of creation
c. 1920 - c. 1960
Some foxing. The frames are sound but have a few chips.

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