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Messalina and her Companion

Photo credit: Tate

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Beardsley produced this image as an illustration for an edition of the satirist Juvenal's (AD60?-140) lewd and salacious text, the Sixth Satire, privately printed by Leonard Smithers. It was first published as an independent image in 1897, in Aymer Vallance's The Second Book of Fifty Drawings, erroneously titled Messalina Returning Home. Messalina (d.AD48) was the wife of the Roman emperor Claudius (10BC-AD54).


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More information




Graphite, ink and watercolour on paper


H 27.9 x W 17.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by A.L. Assheton 1928

Work type

Drawing & watercolour


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