The Three Graces by Antonio Frilli

  • This masterful marble sculpture of the Three Graces is the work of Florentine master Antonio Frilli
  • A tour-de-force of workmanship, it captures three ethereal nude goddesses in an intimate embrace
  • Frilli captures a remarkably lifelike quality in the lustrous Italian marble
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-5485

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Antonio Frilli
1860-1902 | Italian

The Three Graces

Signed “A. Frilli C / Firenze (Italia)” (on base)
Marble

Three nude women stand in an intimate embrace, their shapely bodies and serene expressions perfectly complemented by lustrous white marble in Antonio Frilli’s The Three Graces. The women, with their feminine forms tenderly rendered as epitomes of quiet elegance and youthful beauty, cast affectionate gazes upon each other, bringing a definitive humanity to an otherwise mythological scene. Frilli’s delicate treatment of the cascading fabric and gentle caress highlights the artist’s ability to achieve remarkably lifelike qualities in stone.

The Graces, also known as the Charites or Gratiae, played an essential role in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. While the Graces are best known for their charm, beauty and associations with nature and fertility, they were daughters of Zeus that primarily served as attendants to the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, often appearing in mythological feasts and dances. The divine trio has supplied endless inspiration for some of the most remarkable painters and sculptors throughout history, including masters Sandro Botticelli, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-Baptiste Regnault and Pablo Picasso.

The story of the Graces further captivated those at the uppermost echelons of society, including Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. She commissioned Italian Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova to create his celebrated sculpture The Three Graces in 1812, the first of two he would carve. It is from these storied sculptures, which reside today in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, that Frilli would model his superlative reproduction.

Antonio Frilli first garnered his own acclaim in the late 19th century after opening his gallery in Florence in 1883. While initially serving private and public clients for special commissions and high-quality replicas of classical and Renaissance sculpture, Frilli’s expertise would lead him to international recognition. He participated in several World’s Fairs, including the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the 1881 Italian Pavilion in Melbourne, Australia, and the Espozione Nazionale di Roma in 1883.

After his death in 1902, Frilli continued to receive accolades, with his sculpture Woman on a Hammock winning Grand Prize and six gold medals at the Louisiana Purchase exposition in St. Louis in 1904. An advertisement dating to 1927 purports that Frilli’s gallery remained the largest exporter in the world of marble and bronze sculpture, even decades after his passing. Frilli’s legacy as an accomplished sculptor lives on with this virtuosic execution of The Three Graces, a lasting testament to his skill that makes him a rare and highly prized find among collectors today.

Base marked "A. Frilli C / Firenze (Italia)” and "B.B llo 1900"

Circa 1895

43 1/2" wide x 27" deep x 80 1/4" high
The Three Graces by Antonio Frilli
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: Italy
Type: Sculpture
Depth: 27.0 Inches
Width: 43.5 Inches
Height: 80.25 Inches
Style: Neoclassicism
The Three Graces by Antonio Frilli
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