The first issue of “The Savoy,” a literary journal published in London from 1896 to 1897, featured the iconic cover illustration “Savoy” by Aubrey Beardsley. Beardsley was a celebrated illustrator and contributor to “The Savoy,” alongside other notable authors such as W.B. Yeats, Max Beerbohm, Joseph Conrad, and Beardsley himself.
“The Savoy” was published by Leonard Smithers & Co. and printed by H.S. Nichols, with the first issue being released in January 1896 featuring several illustrations by Beardsley using lithography and letterpress. Aside from his cover illustration “Savoy,” which showcased an elegant woman holding a fan against an intricate patterned background, he also contributed illustrations for his story “Under the Hill.”
One of Beardsley’s most famous contributions to “The Savoy” is the Contents page for Issue No.1 (January 1896). The artwork features a large ornate design that dominates the page with the magazine title at center top flanked on each side by winged figures wielding torches emitting clouds of smoke that curl across references to articles inside; at bottom left is a crowned fish emblem with fins upraised whose tail finishes off clouds of smoke that move across more article titles.
Beardsley’s striking designs helped make “The Savoy” one of the most influential publications of its time and continue to captivate readers today.