The Three Graces

The three Graces - Raphaël © RMN
Between 1503 and 1508 - Raffaello Santi or Sanzio named Raphaël - (Urbino, 1483-Rome, 1520)
The three Graces - Raphaël © RMN

The Three Graces were made by Raphael who got his inspiration from an ancient marble. The artist retouched his composition several times. He'd originally given a modest gesture to the woman painted on the right, and set the one in the center with her hands on her friends' shoulders, while the one on the left was painted alone holding an apple. It was therefore a judgment of Pâris, the shepherd standing on a panel of similar dimensions kept in the London National Gallery under the title The Vision of a Knight. Afterwards, Raphael changed his mind and drew an apple in each woman's hand, therefore making them Hesperides, with the ability to grant immortality to those they might offer these apples to. The three golden balls bearing the Medici arms could also be an allusion to the commissioner of this painting.