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William Edward Frost, 1810–1877
The Three Graces
Former Title(s):
The Graces [1856, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
36 1/4 × 28 3/8 inches (92.1 × 72.1 cm), Frame: 44 1/2 × 38 1/4 inches (113 × 97.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Melville P. Roberts
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
allegory | beauty | charm | children | dance | fabric | female | flowers (plants) | garden | Graces (Charites), generally three in number; 'Gratie' (Ripa) | joy | landscape | Neo-Classical | nude | nudes | religious and mythological subject | sash | silk | women
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

In Greek mythology, the Three Graces were the daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods, and the sea nymph Eurynome. They also were the handmaidens of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and were themselves considered to be the personification of charm, grace, and beauty. Frost was a follower of the Royal Academician William Etty and, like his mentor, frequently made use of mythological and allegorical subject matter as a pretext for depicting female nudity. Although Frost’s Graces may appear more Victorian than classical in their physiognomy and coiffure, his nudes in general were considered to be more idealized and refined in appearance than those of Etty. In addition, unlike Etty, who reversed the formula in his own earlier painting of the same subject, Frost followed traditional iconography, depicting the central figure standing with her back turned while the flanking Graces face outward toward the viewer.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Connections (Yale Center for British Art, 2011-05-26 - 2011-09-11) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Figuring Women - The Female in Modern British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-03-28 - 2008-06-08) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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