Artificiality is one of the central elements in Beardsley's designs. The absence of the natural is not ununusual when it is considered that his greatest influences were Sir Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, the age's masters of two-dimensional design. Beardsley, however, celebrates the artificial. At the same time that he is satirizing habits of the day, he is commemorating the triumph of artifice (and art) over nature. Among his many illustrations of masks and toilettes are the cover for The Yellow Book , vol. I, The Toilette of Salome, and his illustrations to "The Ballad of a Barber."

Last modified 1 November 2004