Wagnerites

Aubrey Beardsley • Graphics, 1890, 14.8×12.7 cm
$54.00
Digital copy: 855.4 kB
2189 × 2500 px • JPEG
12.7 × 14.8 cm • 429 dpi
37.1 × 42.3 cm • 150 dpi
18.5 × 21.2 cm • 300 dpi
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About the artwork
Art form: Graphics
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art: Art Nouveau
Technique: Writing ink
Materials: Paper
Date of creation: 1890
Size: 14.8×12.7 cm
Artwork in selections: 14 selections
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Description of the artwork «Wagnerites»

Music occupied a special place in the life of Beardsley. He played the piano from early childhood thanks to his mother Helen and even began to compose his own simple musical works. This talent in the future will allow him to avoid "hazing" in the school, where Aubrey, on the very first day, performing the sketch of his own composition and reading his own poems, was able to gain respect not only among classmates, but also among older boys.

Richard Wagner was one of Beardsley's favorite composers. The artist often turned to the operas of the composer in his drawings. And even devoted his own literary work to Wagner Tannhäuser. Drawing The Wagnerites was published in the journal "Yellow Book" in October 1894, along with three other works of Beardsley («Self-portrait», "Escort Lady GoldAnd "The Lady with the Camellias").

The picture "Wagneri" depicts spectators in the theater watching the opera "Tristan and Isolde". The viewer can see only a few rows of stalls and two boxes in the background. The gallery, gallery, and, indeed, the scene here as if does not exist, the action of the Wagner opera for Beardsley does not matter. The main actors here are women in deeply dressed dresses that occupy most of the armchair seats. It was these women who angered the critics, because they sit in the theater hall at a late hour in frank attire and without the accompaniment of men. According to the public, such women could only be prostitutes.

"Wagnerites", or rather "Wagnerites" were called similar to animals or Bedlam patients. Contrast black and white picture, reminiscent of the work Toulouse-Lautrec, caused a very violent reaction among the readers of the Yellow Book and critics. In addition, the only man who can be well looked at here seems to be a Jew. This, most likely, was the playful hairpin of Beardsley about Wagner himself, a convinced anti-Semite.

Author: Evgenia Sidelnikova
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