by Kiko Matsing
San Simeon, CA (2015)
In contrast to the dour Medieval and Renaissance décor of the Hearst Castle interior, the surrounding grounds are quite cheerful. Neo-classical sculptures of white marble adorn the gardens. This is a copy of Antonio Canova’s (1757-1822) The Three Graces. Gratiae in Latin, Charites in Greek (from which we get the word “charisma”), the Graces epitomize beauty, charm, creativity, fertility. Canova depicts the three godesses huddled together in tender caress. This delicate quality is in contrast to the heavy, almost monastic mood, inside the castle.