Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Aubrey Beardsley Influence ? - Alan Parry 1967

I'm quite taken with this illustration by Alan Parry for Rave Magazine, it was actually just part of a miniscule paragraph measuring around 2"x1¼'' on the editor's page announcing the 'Rave Of The Month' poster which was included in the december 1967 issue as a pull-out Christmas present to the readers. But, it caught my eye nonetheless, so i've enlarged it to take a closer look...I think what drew me in were all the very obvious Art Nouveau/Aubrey Beardsley/Glasgow Style influences which were so prevalent around this time. The finished poster is an incredible full colour psychedelic version of the design spread out over a double page, which I will scan in due course, but I think it works really well in basic black & white too. I also think that Alan Parry is fast becoming a favourite illustrator, he was a regular contributor to RAVE, as well as many other publications, but i've recently discovered that he also illustrated the Man About the House comic strip for Look-In, which has endeared him to me even more so.


UPDATE: 11/1/2016
Very evident Art Nouveau influences on display indeed! but not quite the Aubrey Beardsley or Glasgow Style as first suspected it would seem. By pure chance I recently happened to see an online invitation to an event taking place on New Year's Eve...the similarities between the advertisement and this particular illustration were undeniable, so I investigated a little further and found what I now believe to be the original source of inspiration in an illustration by Ethel Larcombe from 1907 on a fantastic blog named The Pictorial Arts, personally, I don't think the obvious likeness detracts from the Alan Parry poster. Ethel Larcombe is a wonderful artist and one that I wasn't previously aware of as she modestly only initialed her work, so I had some difficulty tracking her down. Therefore I would also like to say a special Thank You to Jo from Joyatri's Adventures in Vintage for filling in the blanks. You'll find further links to Ethel Larcombe & her work at the end of the page.

                                                        IMAGE CREDIT & LINKS
Image scanned by Sweet Jane from RAVE magazine, December, 1967. Illustration by Alan Parry. Examples of Alan Parry's illustrations for the Man About the House comic-strip here & also here. View one of my previous posts featuring the artwork of Alan Parry here. And it would seem that i'm not the only fan of his The Aubrey Beardsley influence here. A Lecture by Alison Brown, curator for European Decorative Art at Glasgow Museums on Beardsley’s influence on the Glasgow Style here. And finally, watch Man About the House, Season 1 Episode 1, first screened on ITV 15th of August 1973 hereEthel Larcombe New Year Greeting card (1907) courtesy of The Pictorial Arts blogspot. A brief biography of Ethel Larcombe & examples of her work here plus some more examples on tumblr here.


  1. Thanks for the introduction to Alan Parry. It's Beardsley with a bit of Glasgow Girls/Mackintosh with the roses. It took a while before I noticed the word "LOVE" above the pile of roses. Can't wait to see the full color poster.

  2. Such a fortuitous find! Alan Parry definitely put his own spin on this image.


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