Now booking Tate Britain Exhibition

Aubrey Beardsley

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

The largest exhibition of his drawings for 50 years

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 Japanese scrolls and watercolours by Edward Burne-Jones and Gustave Moreau.

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.

Self portrait of Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley Self-Portrait 1892. British Museum

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.

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit


4 March – 25 May 2020

Tate Britain is open until 22.00 on the first Friday of every month (except January) for Late at Tate Britain


£16 / FREE for Members

Concessions £15

Family child 12–18 years £5

Under 12s FREE (up to four per family adult)

16–25? Join Tate Collective for £5 tickets

School groups must be booked in advance

Tickets can be booked online or by phone on +44 (0) 20 7887 8888 (9.45–18.00 daily)

For further information see booking FAQs

Content guidance: Many of Aubrey Beardsley’s works use deliberately provocative imagery, including nudity and sexually explicit content

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    Members Private View: Aubrey Beardsley

    3 Mar 2020, 10 Mar 2020, 21 May 2020
    Experience the largest exhibition of Aubrey Beardsley’s work for 50 years during these special times reserved for you
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    Private View

    Members Hours: Aubrey Beardsley

    7 Mar 2020, 8 Mar 2020, 14 Mar 2020, 15 Mar 2020
    See the exhibition in the morning hours before the gallery opens to the public
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    Curators Talk: Aubrey Beardsley

    23 Mar 2020
    Join the curators for a talk on the life and work of Aubrey Beardsley
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    Beardsley Access Evening: Salome Reading

    24 Apr 2020
    Blind and Partially Sighted visitors are invited to join us for a private view of Aubrey Beardsley with a performance …
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    Tracing Beardsley

    9 May 2020
    Trace the techniques and history of Beardsley’s practice through this illustration workshop

Find out more