The Three Graces Analysis

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Meeting (The Three Graces) is an oil on canvas painting created by Manierre Dawson in 1912. Cubistic in style, the subjects of his painting are three women from Greek mythology commonly known as the three graces. The women were daughters of Zeus who represented traits such as youthfulness, elegance, and beauty. There have been many artworks depicting the three graces, but Manierre Dawson’s stands out from the rest. Dawson’s painting is different from traditional portrayals of the graces because of his use of color and cubism. His use of color and cubism may help the viewer to reach the conclusion that Manierre Dawson was trying to subtly state that natural beauty is valuable and beauty standards are unreasonable. Manierre Dawson’s interpretation…show more content…
Dawson uses a multitude of various shapes. The shapes correspond with the parts of the human form. For example, the lines of the thigh are curved and, in contrast, the lines of the elbow are pointed because that is how those parts of the body look. The use of cubism is an unusual and interesting technique for the subject matter. The three graces are symbols of femininity and beauty. They are almost always depicted as curvy, smooth women. Dawson chose to put a modern, futuristic twist on the classical three graces. He does this by using harsh and non-symmetrical shapes. Symmetry is typically associated with beauty. The way Dawson avoids symmetry and uses jagged shapes could be him trying to make a statement on standards for beauty. In Greece, “beautiful women” were shapely and proportional. Instead of including these qualities, Dawson paints the women with jagged and somewhat unpredictable shapes. It is possible that this creative choice could lead the viewer to think that Dawson is expressing how he believes beauty standards are absurd. By using cubism, he might be saying there is no certain way a woman has to look to be beautiful. Manierre Dawson’s cubistic version of the three graces is beautiful and so are the original statues it is based on. However, in Meeting (The Three Graces) the artist still kept some aspects of the traditional Greek goddesses. This is seen in
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