Just In Case Someone May Be Offended

Here we go again:

A leading art gallery is facing a furious backlash after taking down a Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece in a bid to “provoke debate”.
Hylas and the Nymphs, completed in 1896, depicts the ancient Greek warrior Hyalas being lured to his doom by a group of naked water nymphs in the myth Jason and the Argonauts — and has hung in Manchester Art Gallery.
It has been temporarily removed John William Waterhouse’s masterpiece in an attempt to rethink historical artwork that “presents the female body as either a ‘passive decorative form’ or a ‘femme fatale’.”

And it gets worse:

Postcards of the painting will also be removed from sale in the gallery shop.
Clare Gannaway, Manchester Art Gallery’s curator of contemporary art, said the debates around Time’s Up and #MeToo had spurned the decision.

Just so we’re clear on the topic, this is the painting in question:

I’m not a huge fan of Victorian art, but I do like Waterhouse, and this painting in particular.

Here’s what you need to know about Victorian art. Because of the age’s well-known attitude towards nudity and sexuality, artists of the time couldn’t paint or sculpt pieces that were graphic or sexual, with one important exception: if the artwork referred to a classical- or mythic theme (such as Hylas and the Nymphs), such depictions were allowed. Which is why you find so many Greek- and Roman mythical characters and situations in Victorian art which contained nudity. Here’s another example, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s A Favourite Custom:

…in which can be seen nude women, albeit chastely displayed, at a Roman bath house. (For anyone interested, here’s a decent book on the topic: Tell Me, Pretty Maiden).

As this is a weekend, I’m not going to rant about the Manchester Art Gallery’s idiocy because it deserves a Two-Minute Hate post. Next week, however…

 

 

 

New Old Music

Imagine you were a virtuoso guitarist who didn’t want to just play in a rock band. What to do?

Well, if you were Spanish, you could form a symphony orchestra with a bunch of like-minded guitarists, call yourselves SInfonity, and play some classical music like, oh say, Bach’s venerable Toccato & Fugue in D minor.

Not that this would have been one of your goals, but you would end up making Kim du Toit a very happy man.

To my Readers: set aside ten minutes of your busy day and give the above a listen. And yes, it’s live.

No need to thank me; it’s all part of the service.

A Round Of Applause

…for French beauty Catherine Deneuve, who (along with some other sensible women) recently called out the “#MeToo” movement for being a bunch of joyless scolds:

“This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practicing their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about ‘intimate’ things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual.”

Read the whole thing, because the Womyns, as is their wont, have accused her of being Literally Worse Than Hitler or something.

But because it’s Sunday, I won’t dwell on the unpleasantness. Instead, let us revel in Mlle. Deneuve’s past:

…and my all-time favorite pic of Catherine:

Fully clothed, and as sexy as hell.