Aubrey Beardsley by Symons, Arthur, 1865-1945 PDF

By Symons, Arthur, 1865-1945

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He thought, and was right in thinking, very highly of himself; he admired himself enormously ; but his intellect would never allow itself to be deceived even about his own accomplishments. This clear, unemotional intellect, emotional only in the perhaps highest sense, where emotion almost ceases to be recognisable, in the abstract, tor ideas, for lines, AUBREY BEARDSLEY left him, with all his interests in life, with all his sociability, of a sort, essentially very lonely. Many people were devoted to him, but he had, I think, scarcely a friend, in the fullest sense of the word ; and I doubt if there were more than one or two people for whom he felt any real affection.

He made one or two faint attempts, and even prepared a canvas for a picture which was never painted, in the hospitable studio in which M. Jacques Blanche painted the admirable portrait reproduced in the frontispiece. But he found many subjects, some of which he afterwards worked out, in the expressive opportunities of the Casino and the beach. He never walked; I never saw him look at the sea; but at night he was almost alv^^ays to be seen watching the gamblers at petits cbevaux, studying them with a sort of hypnotised attention for that picture of " The Little Horses^'' which was never done.

He seemed to have read everything, and had his preferences as adroitly in order, as wittily in evidence, as almost any man of letters; indeed, he seemed to know more, and was a sounder critic, of books than of pictures; with perhaps a deeper feeling for music than for either. His conversation had a peculiar kind of brilliance, different in order but scarcely inferior in quality to that of any other contemporary master of that art; a salt, whimsical dogmatism, equally full of convinced egoism and of imperturbable keen-sightedness.

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Aubrey Beardsley by Symons, Arthur, 1865-1945


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