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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Three Graces

In very early stories the Graces, called Charites in Greek or Gratiae in Latin, were indefinite in number and closely associated with the joys of spring and natural growth. Later three only were usually depicted, representing charm, grace and beauty. Sculptures of them were frequently erected in Archaic and Classical sanctuaries, and there is a famous wall painting of them at Pompeii.

The second century CE travel writer Pausanias saw a relief of the three Graces on the Acropolis. He described it as the work of the philosopher Socrates, probably confusing him with a sculptor from Boeotia of the same name. This relief was found in Rome, and may be a copy of the one that Pausanias saw

Location of Original: 

Rome, Vatican, Chiaramonti Museum 360

1.83 x 1.81m

Purchased 1884 from Malpieri of Rome


Hauser: Die Neu Attischen Reliefs (1889), 60, no.85
Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 112 (n.7), pl. 35.4
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 15, no.35
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 891, no.30

Roman. Original: C5 BCE

Found in 1769 on the Lateran hill in Rome

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