Pre Raphaelite Ridiculousness

27459055_10157044953309128_2997197172210892348_nThe above Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece back on public display after its temporary removal.

The painting – part of Manchester gallery’s highly prized collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings – was temporarily removed from display as part of a project the gallery is working on with the contemporary artist Sonia Boyce, in the build-up to a solo exhibition of her work at the gallery opening on 23 March 2018.

Apparently Manchester Art Gallery said it took down Hylas and the Nymphs by JW Waterhouse to “encourage debate” about how such images should be displayed.

But critics accused curators of being puritanical and politically correct and the painting was put back today.

“It’s been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised,” Manchester City Council said.

Professor Liz Prettejohn, who curated a Waterhouse exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 2009, told BBC News: “Taking it off display is killing any kind of debate that you might be able to have about it in relation to some of the really interesting issues that it might raise about sexuality and gender relationships.

“The Victorians are always getting criticised because they’re supposed to be prudish. But here it would seem it’s us who are taking the roles of what we think of as the very moralistic Victorians.”

To be honest it does seem a little odd.

It is art, good art, a beautiful piece of artwork and quite why there even needs to be a discussion around this image seem rather childish and immature, it smacks of child giggling at a nude in a gallery.

Other were equally annoyed by this somewhat daft idea leaving post-its such as the one below.


Political correctness once again seems to have got a little out of hand…

What do you think?



The Pre-Raphaelites

John_Everett_Millais_-_Ophelia_-_Google_Art_ProjectThe Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood or the Pre-Raphaelites as they became known and was a group of English painters, poets, and critics.

The movement was founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti who were joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form the seven-member, so called “brotherhood”.

The groups manifesto was:

  1. to have genuine ideas to express
  2. to study nature attentively, so as to know how to express them
  3. to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parodying and learned by rote
  4. most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues

and as usual I have only come this 150 years late!!

I love this artwork. So over the next few weeks we will take a look at the key works in this fabulous movement. This week we start with:

Ophelia by British artist Sir John Everett Millais. Possibly one of his finest paintings, it was completed between 1851 and 1852

It depicts Ophelia, a character from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, singing before she drowns in a river in Denmark. I think it is beautiful, the colour and composition are wonderful and is held in the Tate Britain in London.