Museums at Work
Museums at Work

Museums at Work

The Dance of the Graces

“… and sweetly too they look from under their brows”

22 September 2022
Room XVII, Pinacoteca

From 22 September, visitors to the Pope’s Museums will have the privilege of being able to admire, in all its entirety and rediscovered splendour, the Vatican sculptural group of the Three Graces, exceptionally and temporarily removed from its precious niche in the Cabinet of the Masks (Pio-Clementine Museum). The celebrated Roman age marble triad – produced in the first decades of the second century A.D. by an anonymous artist – will be the centre-piece of the exhibition “The Dance of the Graces” in the Vatican Pinacoteca (Hall XVII), in the wake of the delicate restoration intervention coordinated by the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities and carried out by the Stone Materials Laboratory, in collaboration with the Cabinet of Scientific Research applied to Cultural Heritage.

In the year of the bicentenary of the death of Antonio Canova (1757-1822), the exhibition is also intended as a Vatican homage to the “prince of sculptors” who not only held the role – by appointment to Pope Pius VII – of Superintendent of the Artistic Patrimony of the State and Director General of the Vatican Museums – but was also the author of two splendid interpretations of the iconic motif of the Three Graces: one now preserved in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, and the other held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The event was made possible also thanks to the generous support of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, in the persons of Mrs. Roboin Hambro, Mr. Robert Weinberg and Crowdfunding.