Aubrey Beardsley

Enoch Soames:
The Critical Heritage


The Calumny of Beerbohm
The Anxiety of Influence
New Light on Soames
Enoch’s Castle
In Praise of Christian Diabolism
Iconographia Fungosiana
Strange Growths
A Letter to the Editor
List of Illustrations
Le Diaboliste Catholique
Portrait Study of Enoch Soames
En Attendant
Crème de Menthe and Nicotine
A Man of Letters
Enoch Soames, Esq.
The Bad Homburg

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The Arms of a PoetEnoch Soames - The Critical Heritage
Enoch Soames, byAustin Osman Spare

Crème de Menthe and Nicotine ca. 1911.

Austin Osman Spare 1888 - 1956.
Pen and coloured inks. 15 x 18 cm.

The artist A.O. Spare was for a time the protégé of Marc-André Raffalovich, but his early promise as a draughtsman was dissipated in later experiments in a form of mystical "automatic drawing".
    This portrait, also known, from an inscription on the reverse, added many years later by Spare in ball-point, as "Soames on a Spree: Recollection of an era", is an intriguing reminder that at the age of eight the artist had been taken by Raffalovich to eat chocolate cake at the Café Royal; there he saw Soames for the first and last time. So impressed was the young Austin by his glimpse of Soames-in high spirits, for once-emerging out of the gloom into the light of Regent Street, that in subsequent years he drew him many times. The strange, momentary association of himself, the lost poet and the precocious boy led Raffalovich to make his only recorded mot: with an unusual spark of humour and spontaneity he remarked to the artist, with what John Gray recalled as a hideous gurgling chortle...
       "So there we all were, the three spare men of our day!"

Enoch Soames