Facebook censors painter Rubens, not nazism


This 21 July 2018 satiric video from Flanders in Belgium about ancient art says about itself:

Social media [in this case, Facebook] doesn’t want you to see Rubens’ paintings

Flanders – the perfect destination to enjoy the Flemish Masters in all their glory – is denouncing artistic censorship on social media platforms in a playful manner. At the Rubens House, ‘nudity viewers’ with a Facebook account were blocked from viewing nudity by a group of “social media police agents”.

So, 17th century painter Rubens is not welcome  on Facebook. Like later artists, including French 19th century painter Gustave Courbet. Like Facebook bans one of the world’s earliest works of art, the 30,000-year-old ‘Venus of Willendorf‘ sculpture.

What and who, then, is welcome on Facebook? Facebook boss Zuckerberg has said: Holocaust denying nazis. The Dutch neofascist party Nederlandse Volks-Unie (NVU) is welcome to spout their praise for Adolf Hitler, hatred of Jews and hatred of Dutch Moroccans on their Facebook account.

On the other hand, Facebook censors news sources without Big Business or Big Government support; favouring instead corporate media like the Rupert Murdoch empire (where anti-Semitism and other forms of racism happen). Nevertheless, Facebook claims corporate news is not fake news.

No censorship of Holocaust denial. Instead, censorship of an iconic photo of Vietnamese children attacked by United States napalm bombs; censorship even if the conservative prime minister of Norway posts that photo on Facebook. Instead, censorship of information on the bloody invasion of Syria by the Turkish Erdogan regime. The Erdogan regime, which Facebook also helps by censoring a Turkish Dutch politician. Instead, censorship of information on the genocide of Rohingya, thus helping the regime in Myanmar. Instead of censoring shoah denial, Facebook censors Arizona, USA teachers on strike against bad education policies. Like Facebook also censors British striking workers.

Instead of opposing Holocaust denial, they censor feminism. Instead, they censor information on women’s reproductive rights. Instead, Facebook censors a burn injuries survivor.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Flemish museums angry about Facebook‘s nudity ban

Flemish museums are sick of Facebook‘s strict anti-nudity policy. The social media platform also removes painted nudity by, for example, Flemish masters. In an open letter to Facebook boss Zuckerberg, a large number of museum directors demand he should be more liberal.

The cultural institutions use Facebook a lot to advertise their activities. They do this by placing pictures of paintings. But they are thwarted regularly by censorship.

Loincloth

Recently, Facebook removed a picture of the Venus of Willendorf, an iconic fertility statue of nearly 30,000 years old. The Crucifixion by Peter Paul Rubens was also rejected because Jesus has no more than a loincloth on.

Rubens, Christ crucified

“Although we are secretly laughing, your cultural censorship makes our lives quite difficult”, write the museum directors to Zuckerberg. They point out that art brings people together, just like social media.

Video

The trade association Tourism Flanders adds a humorous video to the appeal to Zuckerberg. It shows how people are expelled by security agents from the Rubens House in Antwerp because they look at paintings with exposed body parts. Only people who do not have a Facebook account are allowed to look at them.

Facebook censors accounts against Charlottesville neonazis and against Trump’s anti-immigrant ICE: here.

Tech companies promised to stop helping neo-Nazis raise money. They haven’t.

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Unique Japanese painting discovered


This video from the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

July 4 2018

An unknown and completely unique masterpiece by the Japanese artist Kawahara Keiga (c.1786-c.1860) was recently discovered and purchased by the National Museum of World Cultures. Conservators found the human height folding screen (eight panels of almost 5 meters wide) of great artistic and historical significance in private possession. The work of art shows the bay of Nagasaki with the Dutch trading post on the island of Dejima in 1836. It will be a key piece in the Japan collection of Museum Volkenkunde [in Leiden, the Netherlands].

See also here.

17th century painting, battle re-enacted in the Netherlands


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

3 March 2018

2018 Hendrick Avercamp – Live Painting @ Slag Om Groll

Live event filmed by Paul van Druten

with Canon Legria Mini X Pocket Camcorder

This video is about people in 17th century clothing skating in Groenlo town in Gelderland province.

In this way, they commemorated both 17th century Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp, and the 1627 battle of Groenlo.

17th century skating, painting by Hendrick Avercamp

The 17th century was a ‘little Ice Age‘ for the Netherlands, with many icy winters and many people skating. Hendrick Avercamp was one of many painters depicting that then.

In that, Rembrandt was not a typical Dutch painter.

Though Rembrandt was born close to the Rhine river, where, as we know from other painters, in many winters, usually more severe in the seventeenth century than now, many citizens of Leiden came for skating, he seems to not have liked winter and skating.

As of all his paintings, only one is a winter scene.

This re-enactment was also about the 1627 battle of Groenlo. When the army of the Dutch republic drove the Spanish army from the town. That battle is reenacted year after year; but now for the first time on ice.

Rubens painting rediscovered after centuries


The newly rediscovered portrait of the Duke of Buckingham by Rubens dates from around 1625

From the BBC in Britain today:

Rubens’ Duke of Buckingham ‘found’ after 400 years

A ‘lost’ portrait by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens has been rediscovered after almost 400 years.

The 17th century Flemish artist‘s “head study” of the Duke of Buckingham was identified by Dr Bendor Grosvenor from BBC Four’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces.

It was in Glasgow Museums’ collection and on public display at the city’s Pollok House stately home.

But overpainting and centuries of dirt meant it was thought to be a later copy by another artist.

The restored portrait of George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, was authenticated as a Rubens by Ben van Beneden, director of the Rubenshuis in Antwerp.

He said it was a “rare addition to Rubens‘s portrait oeuvre, showing how he approached the genre”.

Dr Grosvenor said: “The chance to discover a portrait of such a pivotal figure in British history by one of the greatest artists who ever lived has been thrillingly exciting.”

The portrait of the duke in a doublet with an elaborate lace collar and a sash dates from around 1625.

He was a controversial figure in the Jacobean era who rose from minor nobility to become one of the favourites of James I, who was James VI in Scotland.

The nature of their relationship has been the source of much debate. Some experts claim they were lovers, while others believe it was a close platonic friendship.

Renovation work carried out by English Heritage at Apethorpe Palace in Northamptonshire, one of the king’s favourite residences, revealed a secret passage linking the two men’s bedchambers.

The Duke was assassinated in 1628 at the age of just 35, three years after James died.

Overpainting of the background and other areas by a later artist, along with hundreds of years of dust and dirt, had obscured Rubens’ work.

But scientific analysis of the wood it was painted on dated it to the 1620s, and found it had been prepared in a way done by Rubens’ studio.

Additional cleaning and x-rays of the hair showed it was not a copy but was by the artist himself.

The painting underwent conservation work by restorer Simon Gillespie to return it to its original appearance.

It will return to display at Pollok House.

The painting will feature in the first programme of the new series of Britain’s Lost Masterpieces at 21:00 BST on BBC Four on 27 September.

Hieronymus Bosch, still inspiring art


Hieronymus Bosch, 10 August 2017

On 10 August 2017, we went to Den Bosch city, the capital of North Brabant province in the Netherlands. Here we saw this house, De Kleine Winst. In the fifteenth century, its owner was the father of famous painter Hieronymus Bosch, who probably spent his childhood here.

Hieronymus Bosch, window, 10 August 2017

Behind the windows, fantasy animals, inspired by Bosch’s art.

All photos in this blog post are cell phone photos.

This is a Dutch 360 degree video about De Kleine Winst.

In 2016 was the commemoration of Hieronymus Bosch’s death 500 years ago. That included exhibitions in Den Bosch, and elsewhere.

However, now in 2017, Den Bosch has not forgotten its artist. As 21st century art in de Kerkstraat (Church Street) shows.

Den Bosch city walls, 10 August 2017

This picture on a Kerkstraat fence shows a fishy monster, inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s works. The Dutch text is about Den Bosch’s city walls: first built in the 12th century, they were mostly torn down in the 19th century.

Den Bosch statue, 10 August 2017

The next picture shows another Bosch-style fantasy animal. The text is about the statue of Hieronymus Bosch at the central city square, erected in 1930. Sculptor August Falise made it.

Den Bosch fish, 10 August 2017

The next picture shows a very big fish.

Den Bosch lute player, 10 August 2017

The next picture shows a lute player, a common sight in the days of Hieronymus Bosch.

Den Bosch dragon, 10 August 2017

The last picture in this series shows a crowned dragon. The text is about a royal visit to the city in 1936.

Den Bosch kingfisher, 10 August 2017

Finally, also in the Kerkstraat, a shop sign depicting a kingfisher; a bird depicted by Hieronymus Bosch as well.

We continued to a theatre festival in Den Bosch. So, stay tuned!