banned nude painting still controversial
Sixty years after it was banned for being “too brazen”, an oil painting of a nude woman went back on show only to receive more complaints! This time it was not because the nude painting was “brazen, abandoned and vulgar” but because the nude model is smoking. Yeah, welcome to the 21st century gurl! The controversial painting, titled D. D. after the initials of the model, was painted by Sir Gerald Kelly, who painted the Royal Family and became president of the Royal Academy.
The portrait was bought by a public gallery in 1947 and more than 20,000 people queued to see it. However, council chiefs in Newport, South Wales, decided that the painting was scandalising their town and ordered that it be taken down. The picture, which became known as the “Newport Nude”, has been locked in a vault ever since. Now, the nude painting is part of an exhibition in Newport called The Art of the Nude.
Robin Hawkins, curator at Newport Museum and Art Gallery, said: “World War II had just ended when the picture first went on display in Newport. It caused quite a controversy and that increased the interest – thousands came to see it. We would consider it none of those things these days but she does come across as a confident young woman of her time.” The painting is now valued at around £30,000.