Life imitates art: The Three Graces (1776)

From painting, to print, to pic

Thomas Waston after Joshua Reynolds, "The Three Graces Decorating a Terminal Figure of Hymen", 1776.
Thomas Waston after Joshua Reynolds, “The Three Graces Decorating a Terminal Figure of Hymen”, 1776.

The Three Graces, housed in the Print Collection, is a 1776 print by Thomas Watson (1750-1781) after a 1773 painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792). The large print was created using the mezzotint method. Mezzotint involves scraping and polishing the surface of a copper or steel plate engraving to create different tones with both soft shades and rich blacks. This technique was used often in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries for the reproduction of paintings, particularly portraits. The original painting was titled Three Ladies Adorning a Term of Hymen and it was commissioned by the politician Luke Gardiner, who was engaged to Elizabeth Montgomery, one of the three women depicted. Currently, it is part of the Tate collection.

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More than just a print collection

Melbourne University Doctoral candidate Louise Voll Box writes in her newly published article that there is much to be revealed by examining the “lives” of the Baillieu Library’s Northumberland print albums.

Richard Houston (after Joshua Reynolds), Elizabeth Countess of Northumberland, Baroness Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitzpain, Bryan, and Latimer, c. 1759. Mezzotint
Richard Houston (after Joshua Reynolds), Elizabeth Countess of Northumberland, Baroness Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitzpain, Bryan, and Latimer, c. 1759. Mezzotint

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Interning at the Baillieu: Print Collection Research Assistant

Snapshot interview with Research Assistant, Rembrandt etchings intern and Melbourne University student Ada Coxall, who is currently researching information about prints that are going to feature in a 2019 exhibition in the Noel Shaw Gallery.

Ada Coxall, Research Assistant, Rembrandt etchings
Ada Coxall, Research Assistant, Rembrandt etchings

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Last days to see Japonisme exhibition

The National Gallery of Victoria’s current exhibition Japonisme: Japan and the Birth of Modern Art (closing on 28th October) explores and showcases the influence of Japanese art in the West, with displays of art from England, Paris, the United States and even Australia.

Items on display in the exhibition Japonisme, National Gallery of Victoria
Items on display in the exhibition Japonisme, National Gallery of Victoria

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