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"The Three Graces - who were thought to be the daughters of the Greek god Zeus - became popular subjects in art from the Renaissance and they were often depicted together as personifications of beauty, kindness and creativity.

This work by Rubens is thought to be a design for metalwork, possibly intended for an engraver. Collaborations between artists working in different media were common. This work reveals the close connections that existed between designers and craftsmen and Rubens’s reputation as a source of inspiration for other artists.
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Details

  • Title: The Three Graces
  • Date: c.1636
  • Physical Dimensions: w399 x h399 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Flemish
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: London, King St, Great Room, John Bertels sale, 9 May 1783, lot 43; London, Christie's, Isaac Jermineau sale, 27 Feb. 1790, lot 16; London, European Museum Private sale, 1792, lot 264; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: The Graces - Euphrosyne, Thalia and Aglaea - were daughters of Zeus and goddesses of beauty and kindness. An irregular section above the heads of the figures has been cut away and replaced. A preliminary drawing is at Christ Church, Oxford.
  • Artist: Rubens, Sir Peter Paul
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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