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The Graces

In the ancient culture of Greece, among a myriad of gods and goddesses, it was believed that three young women called 'the charities' guided the positive elements of human nature. The women, sometimes described as the daughters of Zeus or Dionysus, were named Aglaea – meaning Splendor, Euphrosyne — Mirth, and Thalia — Good Cheer and together they were the sponsors of charm, beauty, nature, creativity, and fertility. When Roman culture subsumed the Greek city-states, the charities were adopted as The Graces, and the goddesses lived on. They would reappear in the Italian Renaissance, with the popularity of allegorical paintings and the rediscovery of classical Roman myth, and continue to be a popular subject through the modern era.

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Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces

Jacques-Louis David, 1822-1824

The Three Graces

200 CE

The Three Graces

Marie Bracquemond, 1880

The Three Graces

Marie Laurencin, 1921
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