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Joanne Tod

Orientation

Artist

Joanne Tod
Born in Montreal in 1953

Title

Orientation

Date

1988

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

213.5 x 305.5 cm

Credits

Gift of the Lazare family collection in honour of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' 150th anniversary, inv. 2010.568

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Orientation by Joanne Tod shows a partial view of the celebrated Neo-classical sculpture The Three Graces (1813-1816) by the Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova in its palatial Russian setting, today the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. It is possibly one of the best-known and most frequently reproduced works in all of Western sculpture, embodying the classical concept of ideal beauty propounded in Western Europe in the early-nineteenth century. The composition presents the famous group headless, as though it were a cropped photograph. In so doing, Tod raises questions about art and historicity, on the relationship between beauty and power and the role of museums in promulgating canons of taste.

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