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This sculpture first came on the market in the mid 1980s and the Art Fund offered a grant towards a quarter of its cost, but the appeal was unsuccessful.
The Three Graces by Antonio Canova, 1814–1817
Antonio Canova, The Three Graces, 1814-17. Victoria and Albert Museum, London and National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. Art Fund assisted in 1994. © V&A Picture Library
- Marble Dimensions: 173 x 97.2 x 57 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £500,000 ( Total: £7,600,000; Export stopped)
- Acquired in:
- Fine Art Investment and Display
In 1994, the work was acquired by the Getty Museum and second public campaign was launched when it was export stopped. The Art Fund doubled its grant and this time the work was successfully acquired jointly by the V&A and the National Galleries of Scotland. The Three Graces were the daughters of Zeus and companions to the Muses in bestowing their gifts upon humanity. Canova depicts them from left to right as Euphrosyne (mirth), Aglaio (elegance) and Thalia (youth and beauty and has sculpted the three as exquisitely articulated young women in a touching and intricate embrace.
Commissioned by the Duke of Bedford; Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, 1819-1985.