Beardsley's illustrations for Lysistrata  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations for Lysistrata were first published in 1896 by Leonard Smithers in a limited edition in a translation of Samuel Smith and eight plates by Beardsley.

Beardsley was content with his work writing to Marc-André Raffalovich after the completion of the drawings "I think they are in a way the best things I have ever done."

  • Cinesias Entreating Myrrhina to Coition
  • The Examination of the Herald
  • The Lacedaemonian Ambassadors
  • Lysistrata Defending the Acropolis[1][2]
  • Lysistrata Haranguing the Athenian Women
  • Lysistrata Shielding Her Coynte
  • The Toilet of Lampito
  • Two Athenian Women in Distress

Beardsley's emphasis of the erotic element is present in many of his drawings, but nowhere as boldly as in this set of plates which were done for a privately printed edition at a time when he was totally out of favor with polite society. One of his last acts after converting to Catholicism was to plead with his publisher to "destroy all copies of Lysistrata and bad all that is holy all obscene drawings." His publisher, Leonard Smithers, not only ignored Beardsley wishes, but continued to sell reproductions and outright forgeries of Beardsley's work.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Beardsley's illustrations for Lysistrata" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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