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The Three Graces

Three Graces refers to the Charites, figures of Greek mythology, goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility. They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea ("Beauty"), Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae.

The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Homer wrote that they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

In art

On the representation of the Graces, Pausanias wrote,

"Who it was who first represented the Graces naked, whether in sculpture or in painting, I could not discover. During the earlier period, certainly, sculptors and painters alike represented them draped ... but later artists, I do not know the reason, have changed the way of portraying them. Certainly today sculptors and painters represent Graces naked."

And Ashbee commented:

"Let the graces be stark naked, or vest them only with flowing drapery, and they may be as chaste as Susannah. Put them in drawers or tights and they become prostitutes. -- from Ashbee's Index Librorum Prohibitorum, part three, the review of The Mysteries of Verbena House."

In Renaissance art, the Roman statue group of the three graces in the Piccolomini library in Duomo di Siena inspired most themes. In Northern Renaissance, Hans Baldung Grien has a 1540 interpretation and in modern and contemporary art there are Jean Arp and Joel-Peter Witkin [1].

  • An art topic depicted in dozens of paintings and sculptures, including:

See also

The term The Three Graces may refer to:

  • Charites, known in Greek mythology as The Three Graces, goddesses of such things as charm, beauty, and creativity. In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae.
  • The Three Graces, 1908 opera which opened at the Chicago Opera House and starred such performers as Trixie Friganza
  • The Three Graces (Три грации), 1988 Russian opera-parody composed by Vladimir Tarnopolsky
  • The Three Graces, a set of three historical buildings on the waterfront in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pier Head, Liverpool, England

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Charites" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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