Fountain sculpted in marble – 1545

Three nude young women represent the Three Graces – an idea taken from Greco-Roman Antiquity, a period very much in vogue during the Renaissance.

Great elegance

The Three Graces are holding each other by the hand or waist.  A smile can be seen playing on their lips.  One of them has her hair plaited over her forehead and is turning around, whilst the other two have long hair falling over their shoulders and are leaning against the column. 

A utilitarian fountain

Jets of water would have flowed out of their breasts in times gone by.  This fountain probably stood in the courtyard of a former private home in Brussels and would have provided drinking water. 

Three young women and a symbolic base

The Three Graces were daughters of Jupiter and represented beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility.  These ideas all symbolise the purity of the fountain’s water.

The three rest on a base sculpted in bas-relief, representing mythological scenes that also refer to seduction and fertility. 

Next step

In this same room, go to the small painting of the panorama of Brussels, which is displayed between two large Baroque sculptures.