Pre-Raphaelite ‘soft porn’ painting back on view after outcry

A pre-Raphaelite “soft porn” painting removed from a Manchester gallery to start a debate about sexuality on canvas has been rehung after a public outcry in which the venue was accused of po-faced censorship.

John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, which depicts a handsome young man being lured to his death by a pond full of topless young nymphs, was taken down from Manchester Art Gallery on 29 January.

It was removed as part of a project the gallery is working on with the contemporary artist Sonia Boyce ahead of a solo exhibition of her work at the gallery that opens on 23 March.

This weekend it rehung the picture, thanking the public for a “fantastic” response to its removal, saying it was only ever going to be taken down temporarily.

Amanda Wallace, the gallery’s interim director, said: “We’ve been inundated with responses to our temporary removal of Hylas and the Nymphs as part of the forthcoming Sonia Boyce exhibition, and it’s been amazing to see the depth and range of feelings expressed.

“The painting is rightly acknowledged as one of the highlights of our pre-Raphaelite collection, and over the years has been enjoyed by millions of visitors to the gallery. Read more

2018-10-29T09:51:32+00:00