The Louvre Museum in Paris has launched an unprecedented appeal for individual donors to purchase a masterpiece by Lucas Cranach, The Three Graces, painted in 1531.
|Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), The Three Graces|
An excellent dedicated multimedia website has been set up by the Louvre, with detailed analysis of the work and its history.
|Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Three Graces|
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
The Three Graces, a small picture (24 cm x 37 cm), shows three young women naked on a dark background. It was probably a private commission, and this objet d'art has been in the collection of the same French owner since 1932. The identity of the three young women is also a mystery. "Does it represent the three Graces as suggested by the title of the painting, or is it, as some scholars believe, an allegorical representation of Charity, Friendship and Fidelity. The problem is reinforced by the surprising postures of each of the girls," says the dedicated website in its presentation of the painting. "The astonishing perfection of the work, its rarity and the remarkable state of preservation allowed it to be declared a National Treasure, " the Louvre explained. For Vincent Pomarède, Director of Paintings at the Louvre "it is a work at the same time fun, troubling, mysterious, and extremely sensual." Mr. Loyrette is convinced that the painting "could become a kind of icon" of the museum.
|Tiziano Vecellio (Titian), Diana and Actaeon|
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
Persons donating more than €200 will have the privilege of admiring the painting on a private visit and those giving more than €500 can discover this little masterpiece prior to its public display.
A reminder about the public appeal for donations for Breughel the Younger's Procession to Calvary, featured in an earlier post, which closes at Christmas.
Jonathan Jones has a feature on this piece on the Guardian website.
Official page for donations.