The Three Graces (Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia)1815
"I'm a great admirer of Canova's work; he had such an amazing ability to carve soft and silken skin out of a hard and unyielding material. This piece shows true respect and love of the female form; one that I find highly inspirational in my own work."
The Three Graces illustrates Canova's outstanding ability to transform cold hard marble into soft lustrous skin. According to Greek mythology the three daughters of Zeus and Euryoneme were called Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia. They were traditionally associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Canova arranged the beautiful sisters in a loose semi-circle so that they complement one another in their poses and gazes, entwined arms and narrow swathes of drapery. The sculpture was commissioned by the 6th Duke of Bedford and installed on a pedestal (which could be rotated) in a specially built Temple at his country house, Woburn Abbey.
- Credits Purchased jointly with the Victoria & Albert Museum with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, Paul Getty II, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and public donations 1994
- Medium Marble
- Size Maximum dimensions: 173.00 x 97.20 x 75.00 cm (Outer crate size: 158.00 x 100.00 x 241.00 cm; total packed weight: 1112 kg; height of plinth: 105.00 cm))