“The Climax,” by Aubrey Beardsley, was one of many drawings he created for Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome.” When asked to change several drawings the publisher considered “indecent,” Beardsley rebelled by adding new erotic details to the designs. Beardsley (1872 – 1898) led the British Aestheticism movement, creating intricate, sensual black-and-white designs. The public eventually rejected him, however, for his decadent art and affiliation with Wilde. In the 1960s, Beardsley’s work enjoyed a revival, and became highly significant to Art Nouveau and Symbolism.
Aubrey Beardsley (1872 – 1898) led the British Aestheticism movement, creating complex, controversial black-and-white linear artworks. Originally a clerk, Beardsley was strongly inspired by Art Nouveau’s elegance as well as the boldness of Japanese woodcuts. He illustrated numerous publications with his intricate, erotic artwork, and created 17 sensual drawings for the play “Salome” by Oscar Wilde. The public eventually rejected Beardsley for his art's perceived immorality and his affiliation with Wilde. In the 1960s, Beardsley’s work was revived, significantly impacting Art Nouveau and Symbolism.