Now Renoir Is Problematic
Art Business

Now Renoir Is Problematic

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Copy after ‘The Council of the Gods’ by Peter Paul Rubens , 1861. Oil on canvas, 18 1/16 x 32 7/8 in. National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Donated by Mr. Ryuzaburo Umehara. (Courtesy of the Clark Art Institute) Not for the first time, today’s hysteria-fueled feminism looks barely distinguishable from a Victorian-style hysteria-fueled feminism. It can’t be in earnest, this headline. Can it? Did a human being actually strike the keys that formed these words that set out this accusation? And yet the evidence suggests we are not dealing with self-satire. Someone at The New Yorker typed the following headline: “Renoir’s Problem Nudes.” Renoir’s nudes are now . . . a problem? After Sonny Bunch’s pioneering work on this matter — “Everything’s a Problem!” declared the headline on his important 2015 piece in the Washington Free Beacon — you might guess that thoughtful individuals would quell any tendency to attach the noun in question to things that nobody thought posed difficulties until 17 seconds ago. Few, you would think, would risk being That Lady who stands up in a packed room of enthusiasts to declare, “It’s a PROBLEM, I tell you!” Yet while factories may have […]

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