(The Three Graces in the Louvre)

oil on linen 48×32 inches, 2008

Private collection

Like many artists throughout history, Ted spends a great deal of time in the museums of Paris, studying and drawing the art of the masters. He was attracted to this particular painting by the delightful simplicity of the composition as well as the sublime eloquence with which the artist rendered the classical nudes.

Les Trois Grâces was painted in 1799 by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, whose concept was based on a 1505 painting by Raphael, whose painting was based on a 2nd century Roman sculpture that was based on a 2nd century BC Greek sculpture that was based on early Greek paintings dating back to 400BC. Though other characters in literature and mythology may have a similarly long lineage of representation, few are depicted with such specificity as the three Graces. Ted’s sketchbooks contain dozens of the many variations.

While he was working on his drawing of this particular painting, Ted did some character studies of three older women admiring the art from a nearby bench. With their cumbersome coats, prissy purses and sensible shoes, they offered an exquisitely ironic counterpoint to the graceful nudes.

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