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ID number:  BIRBI-52.5
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Beardsley, Aubrey (1872-1898)
Title / Object name:  The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles
Object type:  Drawing
Place made:  London
Culture:  British
Date made:  about 1896
Materials:  Pen and black ink
Measurements:  257 x 176 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from R.A Walker, November 1952, for £200

Published in the 1896 edition of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1714), Beardsley’s drawing illustrates the moment the heroine Belinda attacks the Baron (opposite) with her fan after discovering he has cut and stolen a lock of her hair during their game of cards (Canto V: 75-102). The clothing worn by the subjects portray a range of styles in vogue in England in the eighteenth century.

Beardsley’s nine illustrations for this edition of Rape of the Lock were enthusiastically received by the British press before his untimely death in 1898.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Inscribed on verso: Leonard Smithers Esq..,/Effingham House/ Arundel Street,/Strand S W C/ London/ same size as others/879

Notes:  Exhibited: 'The Age of Enchantment: Beardsley, Dulac & their Contemporises', Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK, 28 November 2007 - 17 February 2008; 'The Barber Goes North: Treasures from the Barber Institute', Abbott Art Gallery, Kendal, UK, 15 October 2010 - 15 December 2010; 'Aubrey Beardsley', Tate Britain, London, UK, 4 March - 20 September 2020 and Musee d'Orsay, Paris, 12 October 2020 - 10 January 2021.

1 Related People

Beardsley, Aubrey

3 Related Publications

Wilson, Simon
Phaidon Press

Aubrey Beardsley
Brian Reade
Victoria and Albert Museum

A Book of Fifty Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley
Smithers, Leonard

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