Art: Beauty & the Beatas

In Bogota, Colombia, art lovers think highly of José Rodriguez' painting—especially his nubile nudes. They also think that Rodriguez, a shy and reticent man of 45, is not widely enough known. Last month, in an effort to get him a bigger audience, Director Teresa Cuervo of Bogotá's National Museum opened a four-week show of his work.

Bogotá's art fraternity was enthusiastic about Rodriguez' luminous beauties. The Spanish ambassador asked to borrow two of them for exhibition in Spain. But decency leaguers, known as the beatas (the pious ones), were scandalized. Father Eduardo Ospina, Jesuit...

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