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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A marble sculpture of The Three Graces crowning Venus by Antonio Frilli (Italian, fl. 1880-1920)"
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The sculpture of white marble, on a revolving serpentine marble base.
This marble replicates the central group from Venus and the Graces Dancing in the Presence of Mars by Antonio Canova. The great neo-classical sculptor produced this composition in tempera on paper and in sculptural relief, long before the idea for his famous sculpture of The Three Graces was presented to him by the Empress Josephine in 1812. Canova conceived the image between 1794 and 1799 and it is not known whether the painting or the relief was the primary version. Both are in the collections at Possagno and depict the same composition, showing the three daughters of Zeus and Euryonome: Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia, dancing with Venus before Mars. Aglaia plays music on her lyre, to which all four women dance on points. Her two sisters delicately balance a crown of flowers above Venus’s head. Whilst Mars is entranced a mischievous putto steals away his sword. As Hugh Honour notes, the adornment of Venus was described in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite and in Ovid’s Fasti, but no ancient image of the subject is known. Without antique prototype, Canova here draws upon on his own imaginative vision and his love of the theatre. The composition was designed for his own interest and only a few plaster casts of the relief were produced for particular friends and patrons.
Antonio Frilli (Italian, fl. 1880-1920) was a highly skilled marble sculptor working in Florence in the late 19th and into the early 20th century. He was the founder of the Galleria Frilli, which still exists in Florence today. Frilli specialised in decorative busts, figures and replicas after neo-classical sculpture. His extraordinary technical accomplishment is seen in the almost miraculously balanced Nude Reclining in a Hammock, his own conception, known in a number of versions, one of which sold at Sotheby’s New York, 3rd November 1999 for $635,000. Frilli gives the present marble the same remarkable appearance of weightlessness, transferring Canova’s lyrical fancy into three dimensions.
Another marble version of The Graces Crowning Venus is in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (inv. no. LH2001.227).
|Height||173.00 cm||(68.11 inches)|
|Width||116.00 cm||(45.67 inches)|