A stupid decision by precious souls at the Manchester City Art Gallery to remove its famous Victorian painting of Hylas and the Nymphs so as not to offend those who might be offended by the sight of topless young ladies in an artwork has sensibly been reversed after public outcry.

The 1896 painting, by pre-Raphaelite artist John William Waterhouse, shows seven beautiful young water-nymphs, most waist-high in water in which they are trying to entice the handsome and gay Argonaut warrior Hylas to a watery grave in their lily pond, and scupper his place in the search for the golden fleece. As the story goes they succeeded since Hylas, who was sent to fetch water for the Argonaut camp presumably rose to the challenge, was never seen again, and Jason and the rest of the Argonauts sailed on without him.

The work is widely regarded as one of Waterhouse’s finest.

Leave a Reply