Juvenal Scourging Woman, in An Issue of Five Drawings Illustrative of Juvenal and Lucian
Shortly before dying in Menton, France, in 1898, Beardsley famously wrote to Smithers, begging him by “all that was holy” to “destroy” every one of his “obscene drawings,” and Smithers famously lied in return, saying he had complied. On the contrary, for several years afterwards the publisher ran a lucrative business operation capitalizing on Beardsley’s death. Among the items released posthumously were images meant to illustrate works of classical literature. A verbal and visual satirist himself, Beardsley had long appreciated Juvenal’s take-no-prisoners comic mode. Here, though, Beardsley depicted his forerunner as a literal prisoner-taker, holding captive a powerful-looking woman who is unimpressed by the exertions of this penis-baring Juvenal, as he flagellates her with a thin whip, rather than with words alone.
From the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press