The Toilet, from The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

The Toilet, from The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

c. 1895-1896

Aubrey Beardsley

(British, 1872-1898)

Pen and black ink with traces of graphite underdrawing

Sheet: 25.6 x 17.4 cm (10 1/16 x 6 7/8 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1953.136

Location

Did you know?

After a rapid rise to fame and notoriety, Aubrey Beardsley produced hundreds of drawings before falling victim to tuberculosis at the age of 25.

Description

In this drawing, Aubrey Beardsley illustrates an early scene in Alexander Pope’s satirical masterpiece The Rape of the Lock (1712) 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. The bejeweled bottles littering the table serve as emblems of Belinda’s vanity.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.