Erotic art led many artists to be the object of multiple criticisms, censures and even to be condemned as irreverent and provocative, as was the case of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918). He spent several days in prison because they considered his drawings explicit and pornographic.
And it continues to be censored, in 2018 to commemorate the hundred years of the “End of the Viennese century” called “Sezession” in Austria, the city council organized several artistic activities and Schiele's works were going to be the protagonists, but Germany and the United Kingdom (participants in the European campaign), refused to allow works that they described as "obscene and pornographic" to appear on their billboards.
In 1863, in the building that Napoleon III had built, he organized the first exhibition of "Rejected Art", which several juries had described as unacceptable for not following the laws of the Academy of Fine Arts. Among the controversial works was presented the work "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe", Edouard Manet, which they described as sulphurous and inappropriate and was mocked in all the newspaper headlines of the time.
The great painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), arguably the most important landscaper of all time and recognized as much for his talent and innovative painting techniques as for his controversial life.
After he died, he continued to scandalize. It was rumored that when John Ruskin took it upon himself to make the inventory of Turner's works around the year 1850, he destroyed some of his works, with the approval of the director of the National Gallery in London.
According to Ruskin, the works he found were inappropriate, obscene, strange and disturbing in nature.
According to the official inventory, 108 erotic drawings were saved in one of the kept notebooks (currently held by the Tate Britain Museum).
The history of art is a witness and will continue to be a mirror of the different motivations and desires that are changing as much as there are individuals in this world and ways of expressing it.
By Cristina Baulenas
Cultural manager and art and antiques expert
*Photo : Work Nude with Green Stockings', 1918 Egon Schiele