Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Three Graces.

The Three Graces have long been a popular subject with artists. Lola's Loves recently showed a cheeky version of the painting by Regnault, I like the sculpture by Canova, 1817, in the V&A,

However, I recently found this one, by Cranach.
Lucas Cranach the Elder painted these three girls in 1531.

I love it. Far from the sweet girls of Canova, we  here have three who look like young thugs. These are the kids who'll block your path and steal your lunch-money. There's no abundance of sweetness.  Hat-girl's the ringleader, the alpha female, knee-bent girl's her lieutenant, and the one with her back to us is the muscle.
These girls are sharks.

Here, as a bonus, is Cranach's Venus. By the time he painted these, he was one of, or possibly the richest man in Wittenberg. I'd imagine his models did very well out of the deal. In the pic, they're probably idly plotting how to separate him from his gold.


  1. The UK paid millions for that statue some years ago. I suggest selling it to some rich Russian crook and putting the cash to work!

  2. And you know what, Adullamite? We big-hearted English-folk share it with the Scots, despite their nasty propensity for cattle-raiding.
    Yes, those three girls do a lot of commuting, between the V&A, and the National Gallery of Scotland.
    The Art Market bewilders me. The sculpture was owned by the Marquis of Bath, I think. But, as all these cash-strapped aristos are having to sell their trinkets in order to pay their taxes to the state, he put the girls up for sale. Those naughty Americansians thought they'd got a bargain, but before they could so much as tweak a marble nipple, the U.K. stepped in to allow a period of time in which british galleries could put together a bid.
    So, after a while it was "bought for the nation".
    Which means you and I are part-owners. What do you think would happen if we attempted to touch our property?


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