Where to see it
Peter Paul Rubens
Why we love it
The Three Graces represents a mythological painting in which Peter Paul Rubens successfully transformed the Baroque style, combined with the ancient style of the Italian Renaissance, into an international or global art form. The work offers a modern, harmonious and vital vision of beauty and nature.
The Three Graces is a very personal painting, Rubens must have painted it for himself, representing his second wife, whom he married when she was only sixteen and he fifty-three in the Grace on the left.
The figures represented by Rubens are inspired by classical sculpture, with circular shapes and reflecting the coldness of marble on their skin. The painter kept the painting until his death, when Felipe IV bought it and today we have it in the Prado Museum.
The painting offers us the metaphor of a generous conception of life and the world personified in the female body and is a clear example of the 17th century canon of beauty, women with voluptuous bodies, wide hips and generous flesh. Fashions change, beauty is subjective and depends on the time, Rubens Graces weren’t fat, they were just real.