Beardsley was aligned with the Yellow Book coterie of artists and writers, and produced many illustrations for that magazine. He was also aligned closely with Aestheticism, the British counterpart to Decadence and Symbolism. Beardsley's images are usually done in ink, and feature large dark areas contrasted with large blank ones, and areas of fine detail contrasted with areas with none at all.
Beardsley illustrated Oscar Wilde's Salomé and produced illustrations for a deluxe edition of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Beardsley also wrote Under the Hill, an unfinished erotic tale based loosely on the legend of Tannhäuser.
Beardsley was a public character as well as a private eccentric. He said, "I have one aim--the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing." Wilde said he had "a face like a silver hatchet, and grass green hair."
Beardsley died of tuberculosis at the age of 25, working right up to the end.
See also: Art Nouveau