Title of the article:



Irina V. Mishacheva

Anna P. Shlyapnikova

Information about the author/authors

Irina V. Mischacheva — PhD in Cultural Studies, Associate Professor, Institute of Slavic Culture, A. N. Kosygin Russian State University (Technology. Design. Art), Khibinsky proezd, 6, 129337 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6500-5599. E-mail: irinami2@mail.ru

Anna P. Shlyapnikova — Lecturer, Institute of Slavic Culture, A. N. Kosygin Russian State University (Technology. Design. Art), Khibinsky proezd, 6, 129337 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2122-3049. E-mail: a.shl@yandex.ru.


History of Arts




Vol. 62


pp. 325–343


August 27, 2021

Date of publication

December 28, 2021



Index UDK


Index BBK



The “magic forest” illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley in spite of the continuity in relation to the Pre-Raphaelite and the reconstructed Middle Ages / Renaissance in the works, dedicated to Arthur on the pages of the Kelmscott Press publications, has a number of peculiar features. The semantics of the natural images of the black-and-white illustrations to Thomas Malory's “Le Morte D`Arthur” turns out to be consonant with both the folklore (pagan in its essence) ideas about the forest as other world, and the Christian symbolism of the passion forest, this uncultivated “exile lands”. The essential features of the “Beardsley`s forest” can include its gloominess (black grass, spectacular haze of frames), inaccessibility (thickets of giant bindweed “stifling” knights, fence of trunks, represented as the border of the forest edge, thorns, reminding of the torments of earthly love and its sinfulness). Thomas Malory reduces the element of unbelievable in his narration; Beardsley, on the contrary, returns dragons, fairies, satyrs to the Forest. The paper addresses the background of the first publications of his “forest” graphics in Russia, notes the transfer of emphasis from the medieval forest topic to the motif of the landscape garden that is more consonant with the rockail aesthetics. The authors also draw comparison of interpretation of the forest image and its goat-footed guardians, satyrs, in the representation of the English illustrator and in the text of the “Northern Symphony” by A. Bely.


Aubrey Beardsley, illustrations to T. Malory`s “Le Morte D`Arthur”, forest as an image of the other world, symbolism in the landscape, desolation landscape (nature after the Fall), magic forest, semantics and stylistics of images of forest fairies, dragons, satyrs.


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