A painting normally considered too upsetting for modern tastes – bloodthirsty hounds, triumphant hunter and speared otter – is to go on display as the centrepiece of a new exhibition examining the artistic celebration of hunting and sport.Too upsetting..?
For a public that laps up Goya's works, that trots along in huge numbers to Gunther von Hagen's 'Bodyworlds'..? That made the exhibition of Aztec artwork, with its representations of flayed corpses, and actual killing implements, a smash hit?
Curators at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham, admit they thought long and hard about whether a visitor warning for Sir Edwin Landseer's depiction of a Highlands otter hunt (the otter lost) was needed.This is the fear of offence once again. If there's no warning and a child (or these days, an adult!) bursts into tears, there might be litigation, and bad publicity!
Better to hide it away in case...
Exhibition curator Laura Layfield admitted that, while impressive, the painting is undeniably "gruesome" and the reason why it was taken off permanent display by its owners, the Laing in Newcastle.*sigh* Note that, once again, this is a decision made by others based on what they think might be the case. There's no reference to any actual complaints.
The British Sporting Art exhibition runs 11 May-10 October. Let's hope it's the first of many.
I mowed down a fox this morning. Blood everywhere, it'll be eaten by tonight, there are lots of crows about.
Think I might have put a scratch in the plastic bit under the bumper though. Lucky it wasn't a badger.
"There's no reference to any actual complaints."
So what if there are any actual complaints? Tell the whining puling vermin exactly where they can stick their complaints.
Interestingly, I don't remember such a reception greeting the anti-fur poster featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor and a flayed fox.
Watch out, Uncle Marvo; after a similar comment, Jeremy Clarkson had to go and apologise in person to every fox in Oxfordshire (or was that Boris Johnson and Liverpool?).
Yeah what a load of ninnies,art,will at its best provoke an emotional reaction,and as the scope of human emotion is so vast some paintings will provoke disgust, revulsion and awe all at the same time.
Carravaggios The Beheading of St John for example.
Art can be both beautiful and repulsive,as in nature.
No one wants to look at a blank canvass.
You could do much better, JuliaM. Nip down to your local abattoir for a few snaps of any stage of animal dismembering.
Just remember very strict hygiene laws apply so don't pick your nose whilst being entertained.
Do you find you need to mow your foxes often then, Uncle M?
Perhaps we could suggest these as a suitable 'reach out and touch someone, the right someone' replacement?
Macheath, Is that the well known 'dog and fox' poster?
How many times must JobsWorth numbskulls be told: No one has a basic human right to not be offended.
Ah c'mon - we had to look at Gordon Brown for nearly three years.
I must confess, I'd never heard of 'otter spearing' before, but it sounds jolly good fun.
Have you got a link to the national association, so I can join and have a go?
Landseer - he was the chap who did the lions in Trafalgar Square and was an astonishingly good painter of animals. Are we expected to dismiss his skill because somebody says we've got to be squeamish?
Mind you, we don't hunt otters any more because there aren't enough to be a nuisance, and not enough fishermen to get annoyed.
@MacHeath: No, indeed. This sort of squeamishness is remarkably selective...
@IAmStan: Oh, I think it would suit the boards of some art establishments very well to have people look at blank canvasses. So long as they paid!
@English Viking: As MRs Rigsby points out, otter spearing is verboten - before the hunting ban, though, most otterhound packs were quite gainfully employed on removing all the mink those animal lovers released from fur farms, to the detriment of our native wildlife.
@MrsRigsby: Yes, indeed, also the much-seen 'Stag at Bay'. I suppose it doesn't occur to the squeamish to wonder what the 'at bay' part of the title means...
That last should read MrsRigby, no 's'. iPhone text amend, why do you keep putting an 's' in there?!?
Does the British Museum still have their special locked room stuffed with offensive Ancient Greek and Roman pornography safely away from the tender eyes of the general public and only viewed by "experts
I clicked your link and am now desperately upset...
Um, where do I claim my compo please...?
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