Cloth binding

Aubrey Beardsley


Coloured cloth binding with black ink applied using a brass die.

8 x 6¼ inches

This is the third of Beardsley’s cover designs for The Yellow Book and continues his emphasis on unsettling the viewer by combining apparent opposites, this time in the form of an intimate scene in which a lady’s boudoir is illuminated by a pair of street lamps. Fusing the domestic and urban, the delicate and the debased, Beardsley’s prostitute (if that is what she is) invites the male reader to engage with the magazine. The overall effect is one of studied incongruity, courting notoriety for notoriety’s sake. The design’s impact is undiminished by the poor condition of the copy shown here.

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Photograph and text by Simon Cooke

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