Sixteenth Century 'Venus' Too SexyFor London's Subways?
Sixteenth Century âVenusâ Too Sexy
For Londonâs Subways?
AP â SIXTEENTH CENTURY âVENUSâ TOO SEXY FOR LONDONâS SUBWAYS?
AVV 2-18 #729218
By Raphael G. Satter
Associated Press Writer
LONDON (AP) â Londonâs transport authority has refused to display a poster featuring the Sixteenth Century âVenusâ by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, saying it is overtly sexual.
The painting, which depicts a golden-haired, milky-skinned woman cocking her hips behind a transparent veil, is one of 70 works due to go on display at Londonâs Royal Academy of Arts on March 8.
Transport for London, which runs the British capitalâs subway system, refused to display a poster of the work unless the bottom half was cropped out, the academy said.
âI think it is because sheâs totally nude as opposed to say sheâs topless,â academy spokeswoman Jennifer Francis said, noting the painting was completed in 1532. âWeâre shocked. We wouldnât have put a poster design forward if we thought it was offensive.â
She said âVenusâ was chosen because it best represents Cranachâs work, and the academy would be uncomfortable altering the artistâs work by cropping it.
Transport for London said they turned the poster down out of respect for commutersâ varied tastes.
âWe have to take account of the full range of travelers and endeavor not to cause offense in the advertising we display,â the organization said in a statement.
It said its rules bar advertisements that portray people âin a sexual mannerâ or âin an overtly sexual context.â
Cranach, a friend of Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther, often painted nudes, Francis said. She added the academy saw nothing overtly sexual in the piece.
âWe actually thought it was quite an innocent painting,â she said.