- Aubrey Beardsley 1872–1898
- Ink and graphite on paper
- Support: 286 × 187 mm
- Bequeathed by John Lane 1926
N04172 DESIGN FOR THE FRONTISPIECE TO JOHN DAVIDSON'S PLAYS 1894
Inscr. with Japanesque mark b.r.
Pencil and Indian ink, 11 1/4×7 3/4 (28·5×18·75).
Bequeathed by John Lane 1926.
Coll: John Lane.
Exh: Tate Gallery, 1923–4 (33); on loan to the Tate Gallery, 1924–6.
Lit: Vallance in Fifty Drawings, 1897, p.209; Under the Hill, 1904, pp.ix–x and 70, repr. p.73; Vallance in Ross, 1909, p.90, No.88; Macfall, 1928, p.58; Best of Beardsley, 1948, No.16, repr.
Repr: Early Work, 1899, pl.88; Ross, 1909, facing p.26; Later Work, 1920 ed., pl.3.
The design for the frontispiece to the Plays of John Davidson, published by Elkin Mathews and John Lane about April 1894. The figures are caricatures of well-known people of the day: from left to right, Mabel Beardsley, the artist's sister, an actress; Henry Harland, literary editor of The Yellow Book; Oscar Wilde, the author and wit; Sir Augustus Harris, manager of the Covent Garden, Drury Lane and Her Majesty's Theatres; Richard Le Gallienne, the poet and essayist; and Adeline Genée, the dancer.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I