The Three Graces

Polychrome wood, 1983

The subject of the three daughters of Zeus has a long history in western art, famously sculpted by Canova and painted by Raphael, Rubens and Cranach among many others. All have delighted in the figures’ sinuous charms. Pacheco’s version portrays three generations of women, the oldest standing on a platform studded with nails (Figure III), another lying prone on a mattress (Figure II) and the youngest sitting on a two-seater bench, the space beside her occupied by a massive, embedded iron nail.