The Three Graces, 1813-16, by Antonio Canova (1757-1822)This…

The Three Graces, 1813-16, by Antonio Canova (1757-1822)

This is Canova’s representation of the three charities, who were the daughters of the Ancient Greek God, Zeus. The names of these three mythological women are: Euphrosyne, Aglaea, and Thalia, all tasked with the purpose of spreading happiness and goodwill. 

The representation of grace and beauty, Euphrosyne was the Goddess of joy, mirth, and merriment. The youngest, Aglaea, represented all glory and splendor. The oldest, Thalia was a plentiful Goddess. She was the incarnation of festivity and rich banquets.

Because these Goddess’ were considered very beautiful, they are often associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and her attendant: Peitho. They are said to have walked together.

In Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: “She [Aphrodite] went to Kypros [Cyprus], to Paphos, wher her precinct is and fragrant altar, and passed into her sweet-smelling temple. There she went in and put to the glittering doors, and there the Kharites [Charites, Graces] bathed her with heavenly oil such as blooms upon the bodies of the eternal gods-oil divinely sweet, which she had by her, filled with fragrance.”