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Studio of Francesco Furini, The Three Graces

Key facts
Full title The Three Graces
Artist Studio of Francesco Furini
Artist dates 1603 - 1646
Date made after 1638
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 220 × 175 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Alfred Mond, 1920
Inventory number NG6492
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Three Graces
Studio of Francesco Furini

Three partially draped nudes, the Three Graces of Antiquity – Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia – seem to be floating on clouds. They were daughters of Zeus and the Three Graces were often associated with pleasure, chastity and beauty.

The composition repeats in reverse a 1638 painting of the same subject by the Italian Baroque artist Francesco Furini, which is now in the Hermitage, St Petersburg. A member of Furini’s studio may have reused the artist’s cartoon (or large-scale preparatory drawing) to create this work.

Furini was one of the leading Florentine painters of the first half of the seventeenth century, known for his sensual female nudes and ’smoky' tonal effects. His interest in classical sculpture is evident in his many mythological and allegorical paintings of the 1620s and 1630s. Although he took his subjects from Antiquity, he reinterpreted them through an intense study of nature and made many life studies, particularly of female nudes.

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