The Graces

The Three Graces are the unquestioned masterpiece of Neoclassicism and one of the most acclaimed artworks by Antonio Canova.

The reason for this is the universal and profound amazement evoked by these life-size feminine figures carved from a single block of marble.

We can find the subject of the Graces in many paintings as well.

The Graces are the three daughters of Zeus and Oceanid Eurynome: Aglaea, goddess of splendor, Euphrosyne, representing joy and delight, and Thalia,embodying prosperity.

The sculpture is the supreme expression of the profound meaning and the main essence of Neoclassicism: it represents in an exemplary way the idea of beauty in a perfect shape.

In 1812 Ugo Foscolo wrote a poem dedicated to the sculptor Antonio Canova, who was working at the marble statue of the three Graces:Alle Grazie Immortali
le tre di Citerea figlie gemelle
è sacro il Tempio, e son d'Amor sorelle;

Nate il dì che a' mortali,
beltà ingegno virtù concesse Giove,

onde perpetue sempre e sempre nuove
le tre doti celesti

e più lodate e più modeste ognora,
le Dee serbino al mondo.

Entra ed adora.

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