Venus at her toilet

Venus at her toilet

Aubrey Beardsley

From Beardsley's Under the Hill


"In 1894, Beardsley was at work on a book which the publisher John Lane listed as Venus and Tannhäuser (to include twenty-four full-page illustrations). The first three chapters — with a new title, Under the Hill — appeared with several Beardsley illustrations in the first number of The Savoy in January 1896; a fourth chapter appeared in April. Under the Hill — a drastically bowdlerized version — removed much of the wit and daring of the original."

"In 1907 — nine years after Beardsley's death — Leonard Smithers, the publisher ofThe Savoy, issued privately the original Venus and Tannhäuser, adding in a "Foreword" that it was "the whole of the manuscript as originally projected by Beardsley." The tale had never been completed, but its design may be surmised from the elaborate title." — Karl Beckson