Aubrey Beardsley
Frontispiece to Chopin’s Third Ballade 1895

Artwork details

Artist
Aubrey Beardsley 1872–1898
Title
Frontispiece to Chopin’s Third Ballade
Date 1895
Medium Ink and wash on paper
Dimensions Support: 260 x 245 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the Patrons of British Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1999
Reference
T07487
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Display caption

The Third Ballade was one of the greatest compositions by the Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin who died in 1849 at the age of thirty nine. While an initial viewing might suggest a simple equestrian portrait, there is an implicit subtext of female domination in the woman’s mastery of the horse. Her determined expression, and the disparity between the horse and rider, reinforce this. Although never published in his lifetime, this design was used to illustrate Beardsley’s obituary in The Studio in 1898.

August 2004

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