. An original drawing by Aubrey Beardsley. Beardsley (1872-1898) is the best known illustrator from the British 1890s. He lived a tragically short time, dying of tuberculosis at the age of 25. This lovely major work, the epitome of Beardsley’s style of art nouveau, is for the spine of the binding cases of Sir Thomas Malory, Le morte Darthur, published by J. M. Dent, 1893-94, Beardsley’s first important commission. The book's title (spelled incorrectly as “La Morte Darthur”), author, publisher, and date are included in the design, which is in fact drawn on four separate pieces of paper that have been adhered together. Malory's Le Morte Darthur, published by Dent has been described as incomparable. The same can be said of Aubrey Beardsley's beautiful and remarkable designs (a term he preferred to "illustrations"). Beardsley was only 20 years old when Dent commissioned him to do all of the designs for this work. It was a leap of faith by Dent in taking a chance on an unproven artist. The illustrations were done during 1892-1894 for the initial issue in parts, beginning in June 1893. The design is done in ink on paper with pencil under-drawing showing the change from the initial position of the leaves, on four separate pieces of paper, the title and top border inset above the ornamental panel ; 27 x 6.7 cm. Framed. In fine condition. Provenance: J. M. Dent. Exhibited: “Burne-Jones, The Pre-Raphaelites, and their Century,” Peter Nahum, London, 1989, 165 (listed in catalogue vol. I, p. 166-167, reproduced. vol. 2, pl. 124); “Beautiful Decadence,” Japan, 1998, 7 (reproduced in catalogue). Literature: Ian Fletcher, Aubrey Beardsley, 1987, p. 128-129; A. E. Gallatin, Aubrey Beardsley: Catalogue and Bibliography, 1945, p. 33; Mark Samuels Lasner, A Selective Checklist of the Published Work of Aubrey Beardsley, 1995. ORIG/011116.
1928. Original Illustrations. An attractive original ink drawing on paper by Lloyd Hoff of the head of famous British actor, George Arliss. It is signed by both the artist and the subject. Arliss writes: “‘They flatter me’ Shylock in The Merchant of Venice / George Arliss.” Hoff signed the portrait as “Hoff / From Life 11-3-28.” Hoff was a well-known illustrator who did the art for two Beerbohm parodies privately printed by the Hart Press, founded in California by James D. Hart. In fine condition. 8 1/2 x 10 inches. ART/090611. Fine.
ca. 1913. English artist, Sir William Rothenstein (1872 - 1945), was highly regarded for his portraits of authors, royalty, and other famous persons. He was also an official war artist during both world wars and served as the Principal of the Royal College of Art between the wars. This is a lovely pencil drawing on paper of the artist's wife, Alice, that was done as a study for the double portrait of her and Eric Gill now at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The drawing is from the collection of the Rothensteins' daughter, Betty Holiday. The study measures 26.4 x 18.5 cm. In very good condition with slight aging to margins and a pencil smudge along the hem of Alice's dress, neither affecting the image. A few pencil marks on the verso, possibly by artist practicing pencil strokes. In an archival mat and protected by sheet of tissue paper. ORIG/071216. Very Good.