CRANACH, Lucas the Elder
(b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar)

The Three Graces

Oil on wood, 49 x 34 cm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

The most common representation of the Three Graces depicts the three women in a row, the outer ones shown frontally and the middle one in back view, their hands laid on each other's shoulders. Raphael's small panel is the most famous post-Antique interpretation of this type.

Cranach choose another type which shows the figures from left to right in back, front, and side view, possibly in order to display feminine beauty from all three angles. This type was made popular at the end of the sixteenth century by Agostino Carracci's engraving.

In this panel Cranach created the most beautiful feminine nudes of his entire oeuvre.