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Ken Spooner

The Graces

Mixed media on canvas
90 x 90 x 7 cms


This beautiful still life depicts a group of six vessels on a table: three vases, two bottles and a mug. The surface appears almost like embroidery or a textile: a velvety, luxurious medium to convey the sumptuous grandeur of the forms and the saturated, intensely jewel-like palette.

The title is ambiguous: the Three Graces come to us from classical mythology and are usually presented as three goddesses of beauty, creativity and bountiful nature. In this reading of the painting, the three vases are the goddesses: vibrant, patterned and mysterious, their beauty lighting the room. The two bottles could be attendants or worshippers, with the small, spotted everyday mug possibly standing in for the viewer: dwarfed and marvelling at the grand forms of the Graces themselves, humble and reverent before them. However, the group could be divided another way: four bright forms stand on the table and only the black wine bottle is separated from the group. It stands on its own table, appearing to lean in as if desperate to join.

The symbolic meaning of the Three Graces has shifted throughout time: their roots stretching back even to pre-Greek times as a cult of nature and fertility worship, through the Renaissance and neo-classical revival and into the present day. These eternal forms, suggestive of the female body, defy a simple explanation, and in that complexity, evoke the mystery and magic of objects.

In stock

Provenance: From the artist's studio

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SKU: KS22-08 Category:

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