Sunday 4 December 2016

Internet porn is a poor replacement for 'Playboy', a magazine that sponsored great writing and art

Stephen Bayley

Published 17/10/2015 | 02:30

Shelf life: Playboy has been on the Irish top shelves for 20 years
Shelf life: Playboy has been on the Irish top shelves for 20 years

I very much enjoy images of beautiful, naked women. Titian and Rubens, of course. Renoir less so, a little saccharine for my taste. The sometimes transgressive Klimt and Schiele, naturally.

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'Playboy', too. Tom Kelley's famous centrefold of Marilyn Monroe in the magazine's first edition of September 1953 is one of the history of art's great female images. If any blue-nosed puritan or shrieking feminist disagrees, I'd be happy to debate how it compares to Ingres.

But now 'Playboy's' nudes are taking their place in history with the Old Masters. Which is to say, they are no more.

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