Antonio Canova

Possagno, near Treviso 1757 – 1822 Venice



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Currently in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy. Sculpted in the years 1810 and 1811 with Carrara marble.

The Three Graces

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Commissioned by (John the 6th) Duke of Bedford (?2nd of the subject?). He was definitely into Neo-Classicism. “calm grandeur and noble simplicity” – some writer.

Plaster models pricked with needles, triangulation, was used. The skill is in the finish.

The Three Graces are the daughters of Jupiter, handmaidens of goddess Venus.

After being carved in Rome between 1814-1817, it was placed at one end of the sculpture garden in Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, England. 

The Victoria and Albert Museum bought it together with the National Gallery in Scotland (Edinburgh) in 1994. It may be too risky to move it so it may remain in the Victoria and Albert.