Paper binding

Aubrey Beardsley.


Green cloth with a pattern printed in white

10 x 7½ inches

A cover design in Beardsley’s rococo idiom, combining grotesque distortions with a cloying, claustrophobic treatment of detail. Positioned between elegance and the effects of caricature, the image exemplifies his vertiginous fusion of opposites or near-opposites, creating an unsettling discord: we admire the exquisite finish (rather like admiring the intricacies of a doll’s house), but some may find the sexual innuendo and curious modelling strange and repellent.

[Click on image to enlarge it.]

Photograph and text by Simon Cooke

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]