Painter Rubens’ partial victory against Facebook censorship


The Descent from the Cross (Rubens)

This photo shows The Descent from the Cross, by famous Flemish 17th century painter Rubens.

On this painting, Jesus wears only a loincloth. So, Facebook censored it, along with many other works of arts by Rubens and lots of other artists.

Museums in Belgium protested strongly against this censorship. And today, according to Dutch NOS TV, their resistance has won a victory. A victory for Rubens, but only a very partial victory for art in general:

Yet, not all discussion is over yet. To the Flemish newspaper De Standaard, Facebook says that a photo of Michelangelo’s David [censored so far by Facebook] will now become possible, but a photograph of a fully dressed woman eating a banana in a suggestive way will not, because it is considered “sexually challenging and contrary to the rules”. Whether the famous L’origine du monde painting by Gustave Courbet [censored many times by Facebbok] will get a pass by the Facebook censorship is very uncertain.

If things depend on Facebook, the censorship of Courbet will probably continue. Because 19th century Courbet not only, like 17th century Rubens, depicted nudity; and was not only the founder of the realist movement in art; but was a socialist as well. As Facebook censors today’s socialist anti-fascists in the USA organizing to protest against violent nazis.

As for Facebook censoring depictions of women eating bananas: that censorship is very similar to the censorship of that subject by the Sisi military dictatorship in Egypt.

According to the De Standaard article, very probably Facebook will continue to censor the work of famous Austrian painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918).

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7 thoughts on “Painter Rubens’ partial victory against Facebook censorship

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