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Beardsley: Frontispiece to Chopin's Third Ballade (custom print)
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          Artwork details

          , 1895
          Aubrey Beardsley
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          Original: Ink and wash on paper 26 x 24.5 cm

          The Third Ballade was one of the greatest compositions by the Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin who died in 1849 at the age of thirty nine. While an initial viewing might suggest a simple equestrian portrait, there is a clear subtext of female domination in the woman’s mastery of the horse. Her determined expression, and the disparity between the horse and rider, reinforce this. Although never published in his lifetime, this design was used to illustrate Beardsley’s obituary in The Studio in 1898.

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          Artist details

          English draughtsman and writer. He was brought up in Brighton, in genteel poverty, by his mother. It may be argued that Beardsley was the most significant figure to emerge in English art in the last decade of the 19th century. In his first maturity from 1892 to 1894 he updated a modern style that was wholly personal and, as he himself put it, ‘fresh and original'. In his lifetime and immediately after, his work became widely known and admired abroad, and formed an influential part of the current of Art Nouveau and international Symbolism.

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