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Siegfried, Act II thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS

Siegfried, Act II

Drawing
ca.1892-93 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This drawing is an illustration relating to Act II of Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried. It was published in the first issue of the art magazine The Studio in April 1893. It is very finely detailed, and is characteristic of Beardsley's style at this period, with its so-called hairline calligraphic flourishes used for decorative effect. It demonstrates some of the many influences on Beardsley's distinctive drawings. These include reminiscences of prints by Andrea Mantegna and details from paintings by other Renaissance artists that Beardsley had seen in the National Gallery in London. It also carries echoes of the elongated figures and dense linear style characteristic of the work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who was an associate of the Pre-Raphaelite painters. Burne-Jones was an important mentor and inspiration for Beardsley, who presented him with this drawing. Beardsley was flattered when he hung it in his drawing room alongside prints and drawings by Albrecht Dürer and others.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pen, ink and wash on paper
Brief Description
Drawing by Aubrey Beardsley, 'Siegfried, Act II', illustrating Wagner's lyric drama, pen, ink and wash, ca.1892-93
Physical Description
Pen and Indian ink drawing depicting a dragon and a youth set within a fantastic forest landscape.
Dimensions
  • Height: 41.4cm
  • Width: 30.1cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
A.V.B. (Signed.)
Object history
Provenance: Sir Edward Burne-Jones; Mrs Ellen Agnus Beardsley; purchased from Guy Little, Mrs Beardsley's executor, in 1932.



Exhibitions: V&A 1966, no. 163; New York, 1967, no. 41; Royal Academy of Arts 'Vienna Secession', January 1971.
Historical context
Reproduced in the first number of 'The Studio', April 1893 p.11 in 'A New Illustrator: Aubrey Beardsley', by Joseph Pennell.
Subjects depicted
Literary Reference'Siegfried' by Richard Wagner
Summary
This drawing is an illustration relating to Act II of Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried. It was published in the first issue of the art magazine The Studio in April 1893. It is very finely detailed, and is characteristic of Beardsley's style at this period, with its so-called hairline calligraphic flourishes used for decorative effect. It demonstrates some of the many influences on Beardsley's distinctive drawings. These include reminiscences of prints by Andrea Mantegna and details from paintings by other Renaissance artists that Beardsley had seen in the National Gallery in London. It also carries echoes of the elongated figures and dense linear style characteristic of the work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who was an associate of the Pre-Raphaelite painters. Burne-Jones was an important mentor and inspiration for Beardsley, who presented him with this drawing. Beardsley was flattered when he hung it in his drawing room alongside prints and drawings by Albrecht Dürer and others.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Owens, Susan, The Art of Drawing British Masters and Methods since 1600, V&A Publishing, London, 2013, p. 144, fig. 117
  • Geneviève Lacambre, Luisa Capodieci and Dominique Lobstein Il Simbolismo. Da Moreau a Gauguin a Klimt Ferrara, Ferarra Arte, 2007.
  • Lang, Paul, Richard Wagner: Visions d'Artistes, d'Auguste Renoir a Anselm Kiefer, Paris, Somogy éditions d'art; Genève: Musées d'art et d'histoire, 2005no.32
  • Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000
  • Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1932. London: HMSO, 1933.
  • Lacambre, Geneviève (ed.) Il Simbolismo. Da Moreau a Gauguin a Klimt, Italy : Ferrara arte, 2007no.1
Collection
Accession Number
E.578-1932

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record createdDecember 29, 2003
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