BEARDSLEY, AUBREY VINCENT (1872-1898, artist and poet)
THE MOST FAMOUS IMAGE OF BEARDSLEY. The photogravures are seemingly rarer than the platinum prints of this image.
This and the photograph in the following lot were taken by Evans on 16 July 1894 after the unveiling of a memorial bust of Keats in Hampstead Parish Church. At first Evans could not decide how to pose Beardsley and said: 'There's not much to be done with a face like yours...you're only a gargoyle, you know.' Beardsley responded by putting his hands to his face and assuming the pose of the famous Stryge on the roof of Notre Dame. Evans said 'That's it' and made the first exposure.
A friend and patron of Beardsley, Evans was responsible for obtaining some of his earliest commissions for book illustration.
Beardsley wrote to Evans of the portrait in this and the following lot on 20 August 1894: 'I think the photos are splendid; couldn't be better.'
Photogravure was first used from 1858 and was available commercially from the 1880s. It enabled a photographic image to be etched on to a copper plate, which was then inked and printed. This had important implications for the circulation of photographic images as it allowed them to be reproduced more readily. It was therefore one of the processes that gradually established photography as the dominant illustrative medium of books, newspapers and magazines, encroaching upon the traditional print media of woodblock engraving and etching.