A Gallic touch (with a little help from the Greeks)

This magnificent gilded bronze relief graces the entrance of La Maison Française, part of the Rockefeller Center. A token of friendship between France and the United States, it depicts the two Cities – Paris and New York – reaching towards each other, showered with the gifts brought by the Three Graces, underneath.

According to Greek Mythology, the Three Graces were daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid (daughter of the Ocean) Eurynome. They were:

Aglaia – representing elegance, splendour
Thalia – representing youth, beauty
Euphrosyne – representing mirth

For the purposes of said friendship they became Poésie, Beauté & Elégance, an unwittingly apt transformation judging by their strategic location, watching over Saks Fifth Avenue right across the street.

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Sculpture by Alfred Janniot, ca. 1934 (more reading here & here)

La Maison Française
610 Fifth Avenue
New York

September 28th, 2016