Three Graces

Hellenistic

replica: from the Louvre, Paris

date of the original: middle 3rd century BC 

provenance of the original: now in the Louvre, Paris

description: Three nude female figures entwined executing a dance. Heads and feet missing. Plaster replica; marble original. Height 40.5 cm, width 38.5 cm, depth 8 cm.

Aglaia (Radiance), Euphrosyne (Joy), and Thalia (Fruitfulness) presided over all beauty and charm in nature and humanity. The three sisters gracefully execute a voluptuous dance.

It is a composition of great simplicity, obtaining its rhythm from the sinuous bodies. Each body, no doubt of Praxitelian inspiration (see:Aphrodite of CnidosAphrodite of Arles), is in itself an accomplishment. The Hellenistic trend converted the once coy and fully dressed sisters into an erotic show while still demonstrating the beauty of the feminine nude beyond all sensuality.