Whatever the artistic import, images of naked children are now viewed by society exclusively through a sexual filterAt the Tate Britain gallery by the Thames in London, the public can now view one of the world’s first centrefolds. Painted by Sir John Everett Millais in 1879, Cherry Ripe depicts a round-eyed girl of about seven wearing an oversized mob cap and formal dress, and is part of a new exhibition of the work of this co-founder of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. Millais, who adapted 18th-century child portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds for the burgeoning commercial market in images of childhood, famously sold the rights to Bubbles, a portrait of his nephew, to the Pears Soap Company. When Cherry Ripe was reprinted as a centrefold in a Christmas annual soon after it was painted, 600,000 copies were snapped up in a matter of days.
uk: What’s the difference between art and porn?
Sir Elton John has defended a photograph he owns after it was seized from an art gallery amid claims it could breach child pornography laws. When does a nude picture become a salacious artefact?