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Beardsley, Japonisme, and the Perversion of the Victorian Ideal

Beardsley, Japonisme, and the Perversion of the Victorian Ideal

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  • Date Published: December 1997
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print July 2001
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521581646

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print July 2001
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About the Authors
  • This is the first book to explore the influence of Japanese art on Aubrey Beardsley's work. Placing Japanese woodblock prints in the English and French cultural milieu of the last third of the Victorian era, Professor Zatlin examines Beardsley's technical and thematic adaptions of Japanese art. She shows how Japanese art enabled Beardsley to create his striking and personal style - one which permanently changed book illustration on three continents. This study is simultaneously a history of the British and French reception of Japanese art, and an examination of the ways Beardsley subverted both Victorian notions of the grotesque and male habits of viewing women. Establishing many of his sources, this book traces Beardsley's revelation of the tensions between the concepts of vice and virtue in a combination of opposites which disconcerted and threatened many viewers of the 1890s.

    • The first book to examine the influence of Japanese art on the work of Aubrey Beardsley
    • 125 half-tones represented, showing some of Beardsley's most erotic prints
    • Places Japanese art in the cultural milieu of the end of the Victorian era
    • Examines the impact of Beardsley on English book illustration and art
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    • Winner of the Historians of British Art prize for best book on nineteenth-century studies published in English during 1997

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… impressively researched.' Sunday Telegraph Winner of the College Art Association Historians of British Art Book Award

    ' … an excellent chapter on Victorian voyeurism and pornography … she reproduces an example of Victorian illustrated pornography from the kind of book which Beardsley certainly knew and might well have parodied in his own work.' Richard Dorment, The Times Literary Supplement

    'Miss Zatlin has much useful information on Japanese prints and on both the culture that spawned them and that which used them as a means to escape Western pictorial conventions. Her love of Japan recalls Wilde's 'Japan is not a place, it is a state of mind' and the book is excellently illustrated (placing Beardsley's work alongside ukiyo-e prints very effectively). James Malpas, The Art Newspaper

    ' … the force of accumulated evidence for Beardsley's debt to Japanese art presented here is overwhelming.' Burlington Magazine

    ' … well written, rigorous yet fluent and presented with attractive restraint'. The Art Book

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1997
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521581646
    • length: 318 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 199 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.05kg
    • contains: 125 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print July 2001
  • Table of Contents

    1. Japonisme, medievalism, and aestheticism
    2. Design
    3. Composition
    4. The grotesque
    5. Voyeurism.

  • Author

    Linda Gertner Zatlin, Morehouse College, Atlanta


    • Winner of the Historians of British Art prize for best book on nineteenth-century studies published in English during 1997

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