Three Graces

One thing about Château de Chantilly that I found especially interesting is that its collection of art was personally owned by its last private owner, the Duke of Aumale.

The Duke, born Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d’Orléans in Paris, was son of King Louis-Philippe I of The French and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily.

Upon the Duke’s passing, he bequeathed his estate – including his impressive art collection – to the Institute of France with the instructions that a museum be created. He stipulated that none of the pieces be loaned out, and that none of the spaces of the chateau could be modified. As a result, the museum remains almost unchanged since it was opened in 1898 and visitors are given the opportunity to travel back in time.

One especially noteworthy piece is famed Italian artist Raphael‘s, Three Graces.

Housed in the Santuario and displayed in a place of pride, Three Graces is the smallest of the estate’s masterpieces. Each of the women depicted, also known as Graces, are reportedly minor goddesses of beauty, charm, nature, human creativity, and fertility.

An x-ray of tiny oil painting shows that Raphael originally painted only 1 woman to be holding a golden ball, but later changed his mind – and the piece – deciding to show all 3 women holding apples to represent Hesperidia, who bestowed immortality to humans by giving them apples.

Bonne journée!


4 thoughts on “Three Graces

  1. Pretty sure my conservative parents would be like ‘WTF is this?’
    France though… might not be on there’s but it’s on my bucket list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. small precision, Louis-Philippe was king of the French not of France… there is split in the royal domain from legimistes and treaty line. King of France in waiting now is Alfonso de Bourbon as Louis XX….Last was Charles X. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for correcting me (I’ve updated the text above). I didn’t realise that there were very specific distinctions. I’ve learned something new today!


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