"IF I AM NOT GROTESQUE, I AM NOTHING": WORKS OF AUBREY BEARDSLEY, TWO VOLUMES CONTAINING 331 PLATES, HANDSOMELY BOUND
BEARDSLEY, Aubrey. The Early Work. WITH: The Later Work. London: John Lane (Bodley Head), 1912. Two volumes. Quarto, mid-20th-century three-quarter burgundy morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt.
Later edition of this collection of Beardsley's published works, with 331 plates of his drawings and designs as well as two photographic frontispiece portraits of the artist, handsomely bound by Sotherans.
"His designs were a potent force in establishing the vogue of Art Nouveau, not only in England but everywhere, and left their mark on the work of several leaders of the modern movement in painting." Beardsley's first major commission was for 20 full-page illustrations, together with 100 or so smaller in-text designs, and 350 initial letters for the 1893 Dent edition of Le Morte d'Arthur, intended to compete with William Morris' productions from his Kelmscott Press. "If Le Morte d'Arthur made Beardsley known, his designs for the first edition in English of Wilde's Salome made him notorious, and it remains the book of which most people think when his name is mentioned" (Ray, 195). This comprehensive collection of the published pencil drawings and pen-and-ink illustrations produced from line-blocks documents the full development of this most influential "high priest of aesthetic black and white art" (Houfe, 58). First published in 1899 (Early Work) and 1901 (Later Work). A third volume titled Uncollected Work was published separately and much later, in 1925. Lasner 133, 136, 177.
Plates clean and fine. A few minor rubs to corners and joints. A near-fine copy, nicely bound.