It usually hangs in a room called In Pursuit of Beauty, in which many paintings of eroticised and submissive women and girls - common for the period - hang.
Manchester Art Gallery has removed a painting of young naked female nymphs tempting a man to his doom to "prompt conversation about how we display and interpret artworks". Let's challenge this Victorian fantasy! Dr Cath Feely, a senior lecturer in history at the University of Derby, described Hylas and the Nymphs as a "one of the jewels of a public collection". What other themes would be interesting to explore in the gallery?
The removal of the painting is itself an artistic act which will feature in an upcoming show.
In the space where the picture was, visitors can leave post-it notes saying whether they agree.
True to their word, museum staff have been engaging critics on Twitter and their website. People from the gallery team and people associated with the gallery took part.
Add your thoughts using #MAGSoniaBoyce. Many users were quick to compare the museum to repressive governments that have censored art in the past.
The gallery's curator of contemporary art, Clare Gannaway, says it is not about censorship, but the aim is to provoke debate. She said, however, that the decision to remove the painting was also influenced by the #MeToo movement.
"It wasn't about denying the existence of particular artworks", she said.
"We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long".
'It is not just about that one painting, it is the whole context of the gallery'. "I know there are other works in the basement that are probably going to be deemed offensive for the same reasons and they are not going to see the light of day".