Paris: Librarie de l’Art Indépendant; London: E. Matthews et J. Lane, 1893
[S.L.] I [Wilde – 1893]
This was a gift from Oscar Wilde to Aubrey Beardsley, inspired by an illustration to Salomé which he had recently seen published. It marks the intensification of their friendship, leading to Beardsley illustrating the English edition of Salomé, with a vigour and intensity which amounts to a collaboration. The densely suggestive and yet evasive dedication, that Beardsley is the only other artist who ‘knows what the dance of the seven veils is, and can see that invisible dance,’ toys with notions of forbidden knowledge and the supremacy of aesthetic appreciation which ultimately became linked to stereotypical understandings of queerness.