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Les Trois Graces de Gougisberg


Museum number: P366

Curatorial note

These three Swiss peasant girls [the 'three graces' of the title] model the native costume of Guggisberg, in the Canton of Berne (or, in German, Bern), standing on a country road with a mountainous background and farm buildings and a chalet to the left. A hat with a pink ribbon lies on the road in the left foreground, the wooden handle of a tool / farming implement protruding from beneath it.

The British Museum print room contains two similar prints with the same title but variant costumes and backgrounds dated to 1795-1831 (BM 1958,0712.2554 and 1958,0712.865). Both are catalogued as after the Swiss artist Georg (or Johann Georg) Volmar (1770 - 1831), who worked in Berne and as printed by an identified engraver. Volmar produced other illustrations of costumes from Guggisberg and one titled Les Trois Graces de Fribourg, illustrating three girls in costumes from that city.

Such prints illustrating traditional Swiss costumes were popular souvenirs of a visit to Switzerland. They were often printed as outlines for hand-colouring.

Provenance help-art-provenance

The provenance of the three Swiss costume prints owned by Soane is unknown. He may have brought them back from Switzerland himself when he returned from his Grand Tour in 1780 but this seems unlikely as they are probably of a slightly later date.

Associated objects

P373, another similar
P375, another similar

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk