Tate Britain Exhibition

Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley The Climax

Aubrey Beardsley The Climax 1893 (published 1907). Stephen Calloway.

The largest exhibition of his drawings for 50 years

This one-way route guides you from the Manton entrance and through the exhibition. There will be access to toilets, a shop and an opportunity to buy food and drink during your visit.

Aubrey Beardsley shocked and delighted late-Victorian London with his sinuous black and white drawings. He explored the erotic and the elegant, the humorous and grotesque, winning admirers around the world with his distinctive style.

Spanning seven years, this exhibition will cover Beardsley’s intense and prolific career as a draughtsman and illustrator, cut short by his untimely death from tuberculosis at the age of 25. Beardsley’s charismatic persona played a part in the phenomenon that he and his art generated, so much so that the 1890s were dubbed the ‘Beardsley Period’.

This will be the first exhibition dedicated to Beardsley at Tate since 1923, and the largest display of his original drawings in Europe since the seminal 1966 exhibition at the V&A, which triggered a Beardsley revival.

The over 200 works include his celebrated illustrations for Le Morte d’Arthur, Lysistrata and Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. It will also show artworks that were key inspirations for Beardsley, including a Japanese scroll and watercolours by Edward Burne-Jones and Gustave Moreau.

Self portrait of Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley Self-Portrait 1892. British Museum

Very detailed decorative illustration showing many characters in decadent dress

Aubrey Beardsley The Cave of Spleen (Illustration to Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock) 1896. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection.

illustration of 2 ladies

Aubrey Beardsley Black Coffee 1895. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Scofield Thayer.

illustration in art deco style of a woman in a long black cape

Aubrey Beardsley The Black Cape 1893. Princeton University Library.

illustration showing 2 characters in decadent dress facing one another

Aubrey Beardsley The Peacock Skirt 1893 (published 1907). Stephen Calloway.

illustration of a shirtless man with one hand raised.

Aubrey Beardsley Ave Atque Vale 1896. Private Collection.

 Watch the curator's tour and explore the exhibition room by room

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit


4 March – 20 September 2020

  • Timed tickets must be booked online before visiting
  • All visitors, including Members, need to book a ticket
  • This ticket includes access to the British art collection routes
  • Members also get access to the Turner and Rothko collection route

Supported by

The Aubrey Beardsley Exhibition Supporters Circle

​Lydia and Manfred Gorvy​

Tate Americas Foundation

and Tate Members

Find out more