Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - The Wagnerites
  • The Wagnerites
    Beardsley, Aubrey Vincent, born 1872 - died 1898
  • Enlarge image

The Wagnerites

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1894 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beardsley, Aubrey Vincent, born 1872 - died 1898 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and India ink, heightened with white, on paper

  • Museum number:

    E.136-1932

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

Physical description

A drawing in black ink depicting a stylised image showing men and women, many with elaborate coiffures, seated in an opera house. On the balcony there are three seated women and two standing men. A programme that has fallen onto the floor lettered 'TRISTAN AND ISOLDE' is visible in the bottom right corner.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1894 (made)

Artist/maker

Beardsley, Aubrey Vincent, born 1872 - died 1898 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and India ink, heightened with white, on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'TRISTAN AND ISOLDE'
Lettered

'This is one of the finest drawings A.B. ever made, and it had much to do with making his reputation in France. It was drawn in 1894, and first published in the Yellow Book, vol III [October, 1894], and I think in the Courier Français. Joseph Pennell.'
Inscribed on the back in pencil

Dimensions

Height: 20.6 cm, Width: 17.7 cm

Object history note

This illustration was reproduced as no. III in 'Four Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley' in 'The Yellow Book', vol. III, October 1894.

According to Stephen Calloway in his book Aubrey Beardsley. London: V & A Publications, 1998, p. 103: 'Beardsley had an obsessive interest in Wagner, and avidly attended the London performances of the works. This depiction of the Wagnerian audience rather than the action of the opera identified by the fallen programme as Tristan and Isolde, is one of the greatest masterpieces of Beardsley's manière noire. Sickert claimed to have warned him that the drawings in which the area of black exceeded that of white paper were bound to fail artistically, and to have 'convinced him' of the truth of this aesthetic rule. Fortunately Beardsley seems to have ignored the advice.'

Descriptive line

Drawing by Aubrey Beardsley, 'The Wagnerites', reproduced as no. III in 'Four Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley' in 'The Yellow Book', vol. III, October 1894, pen and ink, London, 1894

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Calloway, Stephen. Aubrey Beardsley. London: V & A Publications, 1998. 224pp, illus. ISBN: 1851772197.
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1932. London: HMSO, 1933

Materials

Paper; Pen and Indian ink

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Coiffure; Men; Women; Opera house

Categories

Drawings; Theatre; Music; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.