The history of eroticism in western art is the theme of a two-part exhibition just opening in Madrid. Tears of Eros is named after the work of Georges Bataille, an early twentieth century French intellectual. The first part, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, is called From Temptation to Sacrifice. It depicts the relationship between pain and pleasure, examining stories from classic mythology to explore the intimate relationship between sexual passion and death.
“Desire is eternal and universal,” said exhibition organiser Guillermo Solana. “It still interests and affects artists today as it did five centures or five thousand years ago.” The second section of the exhibition features a video of David Beckham sleeping. It was first shown at London’s National Portrait Gallery five years ago. The Eternal Sleep likens death to sexual ecstasy. Some of the images will also adorn packets of condoms to be sold at the museum shop.