Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Venus and Cupid, the Rokeby Venus
In 1914 the painting was damaged with a cleaver by the Canadian Suffragette Mary Richardson, she said about the act “I have tried to destroy the picture of the most beautiful woman in mythological history as a protest against the Government for destroying Mrs Pankhurst, who is the most beautiful character in modern history. Justice is an element of beauty as much as colour and outline on canvas. Mrs Pankhurst seeks to procure justice for womanhood, and for this she is being slowly murdered by a Government of Iscariot politicians. If there is an outcry against my deed, let every one remember that such an outcry is an hypocrisy so long as they allow the destruction of Mrs Pankhurst and other beautiful living women, and that until the public cease to countenance human destruction the stones cast against me for the destruction of this picture are each an evidence against them of artistic as well as moral and political humbug and hypocrisy."
Richardson went on to join Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Facists and rose to become head of the women’s section of the movement.