According to Malcolm Easton, very few contemporary artists influenced Beardsley:

Once having acknowledged the role of Burne-Jones and the influence of Whistler, we find that Aubrey's debts to contemporaries are not extensive. He would, I think, have been distresse — and with reason — to see the entries in some popular dictionaries of art which present him as a 'chief exponent' of the style associated with Mackmurdo, Rennie Mackintosh and the Macdonald sisters. His visions were of a classic clarity, quite different (once he had left extreme youth behind) from those of the Glasgow School still wreathed in the mists of Ossian. It is as absurd to call his work art nouveau as it would be to call Michelangelo a Mannerist: even in the realms of creative imagination the horse still comes before the cart.

Another suggestion, that Aubrey drew largely on the Frenchmen of his day can be traced to Arthur Symons, in the essay published by him just after the artist's death in 1898. Beyond his openly expressed pleasure in the work of Puvis de Chavannes (a Gallic Burne-Jones, appealing to Aubrey at the same stage) and what we may assume he discovered in that of Degas and Toulouse- Lautrec, there seems little substance in this. [18]


Easton, Malcolm. Aubrey and the Dying Lady: A Beardsley Riddle. London: Secker and Warburg, 1972.

Last modified 30 April 2009