Madame Réjane is a famous artwork created by the British artist Aubrey Beardsley in 1894 as part of his Art Nouveau genre. The portrait depicts French actress Gabrielle Réjane, who was known for her performances in comedies and dramas during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The artwork features a woman dressed in a stiff bodice adorned with jewels, and holding a fan, standing before a curtain adorned with a hanging tassel. Beardsley’s design emphasizes the linear elegance of his drawings coupled with his bizarre style influenced by Japanese woodcuts which emphasizes the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic.
Madame Réjane was published in The Yellow Book and became one of Beardsley’s most well-known works that showcases his unique style. Despite his brief career due to health issues, Beardsley developed a reputation as one of the most controversial artists of his time.
One can appreciate Madame Réjane for its intricate details such as pearls on her hat and decorative tassels on her gown while also being drawn to its elegant lines bordered by heavy black contours that brought depth to what was otherwise an overly decorative image. Ultimately, Madame Réjane remains one of Aubrey Beardsley’s iconic works that showcases not only his unique style but also captures the essence of Belle Époque fashion perfectly.