Victorian Art & Design
Aubrey Beardsley 1872-1898

Beardsley's career as an artist only lasted for six  years.  It began in 1892 when Dent asked him to illustrate Malory's Morte Darthur. (Dent used Malory's 15th Century spelling instead of calling it the Morte d'Arthur.)  Beardsley's career ended in March 1898 when he died of tuberculosis (T.B.) at Menton in France.


On the left is one of Beardsley's chapter headings for the 'Morte Darthur'.

 In 1891 Beardsley and his sister Mabel had visited Burne-Jones.  Beardsley showed him his drawings.  Burne-Jones praised them and advised him to take art lessons.  He then went to evening classes as he worked as an insurance clerk during the day.  Dent's invitation to illustrate the Morte Darthur meant he could give up this job.  He had to design  over 40 full page borders and hundreds of chapter headings for the book, as well as twenty full or double page illustrations.