Aubrey Beardsley, 1872 - 1898. Illustrator
© Estate of Frederick H. Evans

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Aubrey Beardsley, 1872 - 1898. Illustrator 1894
Although he died at the age of twenty-six, Aubrey Beardsley was one of the most influential English illustrators of the nineteenth century. Here he is shown as a grotesque, based on a contemporary French print of a carving of a gargoyle on the south tower of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The parallel seems appropriate. A year before he died, Beardsley noted that as an artist he had only one aim - the grotesque. 'If I am not grotesque I am nothing', he wrote.

Glossary Open


A spout that projects water away from the gutter of a building, frequently carved to resemble strange human or animal figures.


A decorative element comprising figures, animals, plants, mythological creatures and architectural elements which are often combined in bizarre configuration. Originating in ancient Rome, such details were revived in the Renaissance following the rediscovery of ancient murals.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Gargoyle, Grotesque, Print


  • Acc. No. PGP R 170
  • Medium Platinum print
  • Size 13.60 x 9.70 cm
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985