Here is my scheme. I proposed a black floor – upon which Salomé’s white feet would show; this statement was meant to capture Wilde. The sky was to be a rich turquoise blue, and across by the perpendicular fall of strips of gilt matting, which should not touch the ground, and so form a sort of aerial tent above the terrace. Did Wilde actually suggest the division of the actors into separate masses of colour, today the idea seems mine! His was the scheme, however, that the Jews should be in yellow, the Romans were to be in purple, the soldiers in bronze green, and John in white. Over the dresses of Salomé, the discussions were endless: should she be black “like the night”? Silver, “like the moon”? Or – here the suggestion is Wilde’s – “green like a curious poisonous lizard”? I desired that the moonlight should fall upon the ground, the source not being seen; Wilde himself hugged the idea of some “strange dim pattern in the sky”.
Charles de Sousy Ricketts (2 October 1866 – 7 October 1931) was a versatile English artist, illustrator, author and printer, and is best known for his work as book designer and typographer from 1896 to 1904 with the Vale Press, and his work in the theatre as a set and costume designer.
Ricketts was born in Geneva to a French mother and an English father. He grew up mainly in France and Italy. He began his studies in art at the City and Guilds Technical Art School in Lambeth, in 1882, after both his parents had died.
Ricketts was one of two well-known illustrators of Oscar Wilde's work, the other being Aubrey Beardsley who worked on Salomé. He was friend and supporter of Wilde, for whom Ricketts painted, in the style of Clouet, the hero of Wilde's short story, 'The Portrait of Mr. W. H.' More