This white marble statue is a copy of a famous neoclassical sculpture by the Italian artist Antonio Canova (1757-1822). Canova created two versions of The Three Graces in the early 1800s. The original statue was sculpted for Empress Josephine and it is now part of the collection at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The second version was commissioned by the sixth Duke of Bedford, John Russell, and it was originally installed at the Duke’s residence in Woburn Abbey. It is currently jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and is alternately displayed at each. (The Hearst Castle collection includes an original Canova sculpture of Venus, on view in the Assembly Room of Casa Grande.)
The Three Graces were the daughters of Zeus. They were said to represent beauty, charm and joy and their names were, from left to right: Euphrosyne; Aglaia; Thalia. In mythology, The Three Graces sang and danced for the gods on Mount Olympus.