Aubrey Beardsley: Peacock Skirt

The project that I chose to do by Aubrey Beardsley is “The Peacock Skirt”. It is now in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University since 1943. It was made in 1893, and this type of artwork was a huge factor during the time. It was made with pen and ink before being reproduced as a woodblock print. The “Peacock Skirt” is showing the rear quarter view of a women, wearing a long robe decorated with a peacock father pattern. Salome the individual in the drawing also wears a distinctive peacock headdress in plates 6 and 7. This is showing that his drawings are repetitive and he uses the same aspects in his other drawings. It was used in Oscar Wilde’s one-act play Salome. Oscar Wilde wrote the play Salome in French in 1891 while living in Paris. He is important because he was known to be a playwright and wrote very popular plays in London. Wilde wrote to Beardsley and gave him a copy of his play Salome, and wanted him to illustrate the first edition of his play. “The Peacock Skirt” was the second out of ten plates that were published with the English version of Oscar Wilde’s play. All ten of these illustrative plates were important for Aubrey Beardsley because of the large impact it had on his artwork. All of the illustrative plates were similar in fashion, because they came together in a set of 10. This project was important because of the significance it had with the other 9 paintings in the set. His relationship with Oscar Wilde allowed for his creativity to be open and free of disapproval.