This work was published in The Yellow Book
, a fashionable literary quarterly of which Beardsley was art director. The image is believed to be based on an occasion when Beardsley was seen walking through Hampstead Church graveyard after the unveiling of a memorial to Keats. At this time Beardsley was suffering from tuberculosis, the same disease which had killed the Romantic poet.
Walter Richard Sickert
76.2 x 31.1 cm
Tempera on canvas
Date of work
Original: Tempera on canvas 76.2 x 31.1 cm Tate. Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund 1932
Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) was a draughtsman and illustrator, perhaps best remembered for his powerful illustrations of Oscar Wilde’s controversial play Salomé. Although he died tragically young at the age of just 25, he was prolific in his work, producing hundreds of illustrations for books, periodicals and posters in a career spanning just under seven years. He explored the erotic and the elegant, the humorous and grotesque, winning admirers around the world with his distinctive style.