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Not currently on display at the V&A

The Peacock Skirt

Print
1894 (first published), 1907 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Black and white line block print on Japanese vellum depicting a woman, presumed to be Salome, viewed from the back, in a flowing robe with a dramatic stylised peacock design on the skirt, as well as an elaborate headdress complete with stylised peacock feathers, some of which trail down her back. To her left is a stylised peacock within a decorative dotted, scalloped border, whilst on her right is a male figure, generally assumed to be the Young Syrian, with his left arm partially outstretched, wearing a pleated knee-length robe and a headdress.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleA Portfolio of Aubrey Beardsley's drawings illustrating 'Salome' by Oscar Wilde (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Line block print on Japanese vellum
Brief Description
Print by Aubrey Beardsley, 'The Peacock Skirt', plate V from 'A Portfolio of Aubrey Beardsley's drawings illustrating 'Salome' by Oscar Wilde', published by John Lane, London, 1907, line block print on Japanese vellum
Physical Description
Black and white line block print on Japanese vellum depicting a woman, presumed to be Salome, viewed from the back, in a flowing robe with a dramatic stylised peacock design on the skirt, as well as an elaborate headdress complete with stylised peacock feathers, some of which trail down her back. To her left is a stylised peacock within a decorative dotted, scalloped border, whilst on her right is a male figure, generally assumed to be the Young Syrian, with his left arm partially outstretched, wearing a pleated knee-length robe and a headdress.
Dimensions
  • Image height: 228mm (image to edge of border)
  • Image width: 163mm (image to edge of border)
  • Sheet height: 344mm
  • Sheet width: 272mm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'PLATE V' (Printed text in the lower left hand corner of the sheet.)
  • (Signed with the artist's monogram in the top right hand corner of the image.)
Credit line
Given by Michael Harari, in memory of his father, Ralph A. Harari
Object history
From 'A Portfolio of Aubrey Beardsley's drawings illustrating 'Salome' by Oscar Wilde'. Second issue. Published by John Lane, London [1907]. With contents sheet in letterpress and 17 plates [E.422 to 438-1972] in a portfolio of grey-green paper boards, half bound in vellum, with green silk tapes, stamped in gold with title and the rose-bush motif from the 1894 edition. With the stamp of A. Lang Buchhandlung Moskau inside the front cover.



The plates are no longer in the portfolio but are now mounted separately.



According to Stephen Calloway in his book, Aubrey Beardsley, London: V&A Publications, 1998, p. 66: 'Whilst retaining some slight reminiscences and mannerisms of Beardsley's Mantegnesque style, The Peacock Skirt, of all the Salome pictures, most clearly reveals his great debt to Whistler's painted decorations in the house of Frederick Leyland.'
Production
First printed in 1894; this print is from the second edition, 1907.
Subject depicted
Association
Literary ReferenceOscar Wilde's 'Salome'
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Howard Coutts Emile Gallé and the Origins of Art Nouveau The Bowes Museum, 2007.
  • Philippe Thiébaut, ed. Art Nouveau Revival Paris: Musee d'Orsay, 2009. ISBN: 978-2-35433-040-8.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings Accession Register for 1972
  • Calloway, Stephen. Aubrey Beardsley. London: V & A Publications, 1998. 224pp, illus. ISBN: 1851772197.p. 66
Collection
Accession Number
E.426-1972

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record createdOctober 29, 2007
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