Portrait of Aubrey Beardsley, 1893 by Frederic Hollyer
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
Date: British draftsman, illustrator and writer, 1872–1898
School: Aestheticism
Biography: Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898) was an English illustrator and author. He was born in Brighton, the son of a tradesman. In 1883 his family settled in London. In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession, attending classes at the Westminster School of Art. Beardsley's first commission was Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory (1893), which he illustrated for the publishing house J. M. Dent and Company. He co-founded The Yellow Book with American writer Henry Harland, and for the first four editions he served as Art Editor and produced the cover designs and many illustrations for the magazine.

He also produced extensive illustrations for books and magazines and worked for magazines such as The Studio and The Savoy, of which he was a co-founder. He was also closely aligned with the Aesthetic Movement. His dark, often perverse images and grotesque erotica, almost always restricted to black and white, were controversial. His work reflected the decadence of his era and his influence was enormous, clearly visible in the work of the French Symbolists, and the Poster art Movement of the 1890s.

In 1897 deteriorating health prompted his move to the French Riviera, where he died a year later on 16 March 1898 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Menton, France, attended by his mother and sister. He was 25 years of age and the cause of death was tuberculosis.