Beardsley, Aubrey (1872-1898) and Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900)
- Sold for:
Beardsley, Aubrey (1872-1898) and Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900), A Platonic Lament, Important original illustration for Salome: A Tragedy in One Act, published in 1894. India ink and pencil on paper, signed with his Japanese monogram lower left, on heavy paper, likely Whatman, with penciled title inscriptions and number to verso, 9 1/8 by 6 5/8 in., framed with catalog entry and holograph inscribed pastedown to verso, "The Platonic Lament, for Salome. Original Drawing by Aubrey Beardsley. John Lane Sale, A.G. 11.22.26. no. 46f. Guy Eglington", (faint remnants to verso, very minor handling smudges to edges).
Provenance: The John Lane Collection of Original Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley, sold by order of Mrs. John Lane, London, England, The Anderson Galleries, November 22, 1926, sale number 2104, lot 46f. Acquired by William M. and Dora Bay Wheeler of Boston, Massachusetts. Thence by descent to the present owner.
Note: From Salome, pp. 25-27, "He was my brother and nearer to me than a brother...In the evening we were wont to walk by the river, and among the almond trees, and he used to tell me of the things of this country. He spake ever very low...Ah why did I not hide him from the moon? If I had hidden him in a cabin, she would not have seen him."
According to the 1926 catalog, this was one of the few drawings Beardsley ever made in which there is no hint of violence, but only tenderness expressed. Not even the mischievous looking fool at the foot of the bier, nor the "Wildean" moon looking down, distracts from the simplicity of the central tragedy. The face of the dead Syrian is most calm.