Gallery takes down 'naked nymphs' painting.

"Hylas and the Nymphs" by John William Waterhouse

"Hylas and the Nymphs" by John William Waterhouse

Manchester Art Gallery has removed the above painting from its walls as well as postcards of it from their shop. The reason given is to ponder whether images such as this erotic Victorian fantasy are unsuitable and offensive in the 'current climate' of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements.  See the article at

Personally I don't see a connection between naked nymphs tempting a young man to his doom in a classical painting with sexual assault. I also wouldn't even call this 'erotic' but that's the term used in The Guardian article. 

The removal itself is an artistic act and will feature in a solo show by the artist Sonia Boyce which opens in March.

I also don't see this as an 'artistic act'. A publicity stunt? Sure. An attempt to exploit another artist's work for her own gain? Perhaps. 

I always thought art is an expression of an artist and a reflection of a culture and time. Should we being applying filters to our own history? Even if something is now considered offensive, do we learn from the past if we distort and whitewash the past? How do we teach art history if that history is edited?

Do you need talent to make art? Or does calling anything 'art' make you talented?

I mostly agree with the speaker, Robert Florczak. I especially like the figure skating analogy. Art is a talent, some display of talent is required. Simply declaring something art is not a talent, nor is having a name and reputation a talent. If we compare visual art to audible art (music) we see that we demand music adhere to standards and requires talent. We don't record the sound of a bulldozer and accept it as music because some one says so or because a Stevie Wonder or an Adele recorded it. And by accepting a pile of poo as art, does it not diminish and insult people with talent, a talent they often spent thousands of hours studying and perfecting?