The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 26, 2018

The Toilet, from The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope, c. 1895-1896

pen and black ink with traces of graphite underdrawing, Sheet: 25.6 x 17.4 cm (10 1/16 x 6 13/16 in.). Dudley P. Allen Fund 1953.136

In this tour de force of pen and ink work, Beardsley illustrates an early scene in Alexander Pope’s satirical masterpiece The Rape of the Lock in which the heroine, Belinda, primps in her boudoir. Reflecting the poem’s emphasis on contrived rather than natural beauty, the drawing is densely layered with artifice. A view of an idyllic garden with a cupola-topped pavilion is glimpsed not through a window as it would first seem, but on a folding screen. Bejeweled bottles litter the table, emblems of Belinda’s vanity.

Lemonedes, Heather. British Drawings: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Published on the occasion of the exhibition "British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art" shown 10 Feb to 26 May 2013 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. London: D Giles Limited, 2013. Cat 45, pg 132-3.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (02/10/2013 - 05/26/2013); "British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art"

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