The Three Graces

Aglaia (née Ionides) Coronio was the daughter of art collector and Greek Consul in London from 1854 to 1866, Alexander Constantine Ionides; Maria (née Cassavetti) Zambaco, was his niece, and thus Coronio's cousin; and though Marie (née Spartali) Stillman was not related to them her father, Michael Spartali took over the role of Greek Consul General in 1866. Through friendship between the Ionides and Spartali families Stillman came to spend much time with the Ionides children, by then young adults: initially at Tulse Hill, where the Ionides resided from 1839 to 1864 and gathered around them circle of contemporary artists, then at the Ionides Holland Park home, which became a more intense social hub for artists due to its proximity to studio homes.

Alexander (Alec) Constantine Ionides (1862-1931), son of V&A benefactor Constantine Alexander Ionides, confirmed in his 1927 book Ion: A Grandfather’s Tale,

My Aunt Aglaia, her cousin Mary Cassavetti, and Marie Stillman were, Miss Tricoupis related, known as 'The Three Graces'. They were, for a considerable period, inseparable.1

Yet, thus far, no correspondence between the three has come to light and little can therefore be known of their undoubtedly close personal relationships. However, their paintings, sculptures and textile works respectively indicate the depth of their shared, yet highly individual, interests in art. Furthermore, the study of their social and artistic relationships demonstrates their active presence within the art loving Anglo-Greek community and the artistic hub centred around Holland Park. The three dimensional connections tree made available through the link below seeks to reconstruct the Graces' many and various reciprocal familiar, social and artistic relationships in order to better understand their integral place in the London art world as artists, designers and models. This resource is a work in progress that can be expanded over time.

Three Graces Familiar, Social and Artistic Connections Tree

1. Alexander (Alec) Constantine Ionides (1862-1931). Ion: A Grandfather's Tale. Dublin, 1927.