Jean Max Friedrich Welz (South African, 1900-1975)
'The Three Graces' signed and dated 'Jean Welz 56' (lower right), bears pencil inscription on reverse of stretcher '3 Graces' oil on canvas 67 x 46cm (26 3/8 x 18 1/8in).
PROVENANCE: With The Pieter Wenning Gallery, Johannesburg The collection of Sydney Press Thence by direct descent to the current owner
EXHIBITED: Johannesburg, The Pieter Wenning Gallery, Jean Welz Memorial Exhibition, 1977
LITERATURE: E. Miles, The World of Jean Welz, (Cape Town, 1997), illustrated p.118
In her monograph Dr Miles states:
"Probably each of the single nude figures in Welz's world is an Aphrodite, who bewitches everyone with whom she comes into contact like the goddess of love.
"Aphrodite and Apollo's retinue was painted by Jean Welz in 1956 as the Three Graces. Since their origin in antiquity these three young women have been identified with beauty, pleasure and inspiration. As early as 300 BC they have usually been depicted as nude figures linked by touching each other's shoulders. Welz diverged from this translation and concentrated the emphasis on introspection: each figure is turned in on herself as if basking in the light which plays on her body."