The Art of Being a Dandy: Aubrey Beardsley

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 04 November 2020 > Ready to Use

Despite his early death aged 25, Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) had a prolific career as an illustrator. Part of the Aesthetic movement, a friend of Oscar Wilde’s, Beardsley was a dandy and turned his own short life into a work of art. To accompany the exhibition currently on hold at the Musée d’Orsay, this resource explores his art and the figure of the dandy.

The Musée d’Orsay is welcoming the exhibition (13 October 2020 - 10 January 2021) held earlier in the year at the Tate Gallery in London. The subject perfectly fits the new syllabus for the “classe de seconde” – “Axe 4 : représentation de soi et rapport à autrui”. It’s also a good addition to work on The Importance of Being Earnest as part of the 1ère LLCER curriculum (see the Portfolio section of our Reading Guide.)

In this A2-B1 sequence, students discover Aubrey Beardsley through a short text introduction and some pictures. With this material, they try to better understand what makes a dandy before reading two definitions, one by journalist, writer and publisher Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948), the other by satirist, writer and historian Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881). They finally watch a video and improve their own understanding of dandyism before reflecting on who the modern dandies would be today.

Culture, language and structures

  • Aubrey Beardsley - dandyism
  • Describing and commenting – past tenses – expressing goal and means – superlatives – vocabulary related to arts and fashion

You can download the slideshow in the resource zip below.

Aubrey Beardsley (1972-1898)
Musée d'Orsay
Till  10 January 2021 (currently closed for lockdown)

Ready to Use Downloadable resources ready to use in class
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