In Greek mythology, the Charites were goddesses of charm, beauty, nature and creativity. Aglaea, “Splendor” was the youngest, Euphrosyne, “Mirth,” was the middle sister and Thalia, “Good Cheer,” the eldest. To the Romans they were known as the Gratiae, the “Graces.” Homer wrote that they were in the retinue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, pleasure and procreation. Although early depictions of the Graces occurred in marble sculptures dating from the 6th century BC and a first century fresco at Pompeii, they are more likely known by the Renaissance paintings of Botticelli, Raphael and Rubens.
In Africa, grace – the pleasure of beauty in nature – is a constant state of existence. Splendor, the youngest of the Gratiae, can be found in moments both large and small – in the turn of a head or in a long, glorious sunset.
These three impala in identical coats pause before us in a moment of easy grace. The youngest, coltish, knock-kneed, takes our breath away when she throws us a glance over her shoulder. The charm, the Charities, of fleeting beauty.