The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles

Image credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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Published in the 1896 edition of Alexander Pope’s 'The Rape of the Lock' (1714), Beardsley’s drawing illustrates the moment the heroine Belinda attacks the Baron (opposite) with her fan after discovering he has cut and stolen a lock of her hair during their game of cards (Canto V: 75–102). The clothing worn by the subjects portray a range of styles in vogue in England in the 18th century. Beardsley’s nine illustrations for this edition of 'The Rape of the Lock' were enthusiastically received by the British press before his untimely death in 1898.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts



The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles




pen & ink on paper


H 25.7 x W 17.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1952

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The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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