The Trinity and Significance of Number 3 in Art

The Trinity and Significance of Number 3 in Art
Whether you're religious or not, the Bible eludes to groupings of 3 as well as Greek mythology. I will discuss art where the theme is in the power of #3.

In the Christian religion, the Trinity is best known from the Bible - it includes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The latter is usually represented in the body of a white dove.

In the Bible, the world is said to contain: heaven, earth, and water.
In Christianity, the Magi were three wise men who visited the Christ child after He was born. They brought Him three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Also mentioned in the Bible are four spiritually perfect numbers (3,7,10,12) – of which #3 is the first.

In Greek mythology, we see the three daughters of Zeus and Eurynome (aka the Three Graces): Beauty, Mirth, and Abundance. They are minor goddesses of charm, beauty, joy, and creativity.

The Three Graces have been represented by many artists including paintings by Raphael, Rubens, and Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Antonio Canova sculpted "The Three Graces", a Roman copy of a Greek original in the 2nd century. This sculpture can be seen in the "Roman Court" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

The Met's "Artist Project" is a wonderful showcase of artists (some known, others unknown until now) who discuss a work of art from the museum’s collection.
Be sure to watch "Jeff Koons on Roman Sculpture" as well as the others on the Met’s website.

The Celtic pattern for a pattern of three connected circles is a triquetra.
Most clovers have 3 leaves, representing the Trinity: faith, hope and love. A fourth leaf represents luck.

Want to know more about the power of #3?

In numerology, 3 is a Triad as it has a beginning, middle, and end.

What about the saying, "Three's a Charm"? It’s meaning is that the third time (at anything) is lucky.

We are often reminded of the connection between body, mind, and spirit in our lives.

And for those who (it would appear) live to text, the symbol <3 (sideways heart) denotes friendship and love. The symbol <33 represents a broken heart.

As a society, I hope we will someday return to using words instead of abbreviations and symbols - it’s not old fashioned – just more sensible.

This statue of Antonio Canova's "The Three Graces" figurine is available here from

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