Portrait of Aubrey Beardsley
FREDERICK H. EVANS
Portrait of Aubrey Beardsley, 1894
Jerome Wheelock Fund
A bookseller in London, Evans was a member of the Linked Ring, a group of dedicated amateurs who promoted photography as an art in Britain and abroad at the turn of the twentieth century. During a time when photographers retouched negatives and manipulated printing, he made "plain prints from plain negatives" and became well known for his evocative pictures of England's great cathedrals.
In 1889 Evans met Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) and helped him to secure a commission from the publisher J. M. Dent to illustrate an edition of Le Morte d'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory's legendary work. Mounted on a photographic copy of a decorative border drawn by Beardsley for Malory's book, this profile portrait emphasizes the delicate features of the twenty-one-year-old artist. The platinum paper used for the print was favored by art photographers of the time for its permanence and long gray scale.