The wrong graces?

Three GracesFaith, hope and charity are quite a trilogy.  They are a trio of saints, three WW2-era RAF planes, a key verse in the Bible and even a play. But here in Inverness, they are most famous as the Three Graces which used to reside above a magnificent columned building on the corner of High Street and Castle Street, where the architectural (not to mention gastronomic) monstrosity McDonald’s now sits.

When their home was abolished they spent time in exile in Orkney before being recently bought by the council and returned to Inverness.  They now sit on the riverside, just in front of Ness Bank church.  They are quite attractive statues and tastefully fit their new home.  Here they are on the right, standing in a row with their names beneath them.  Click on the picture to see it in detail.

However, sometimes it takes an outsider to see something about a place (something I love about travel).  Recently we had some visitors staying with us, and when we walked along the river one of them pointed out that the names are in the wrong order.

Faith, suggested our friend, is the one in the middle clutching a Bible (who stands above the word “hope”).  Hope is the one with that great metaphor of hope, an anchor, perched atop the legend “charity”.  Charity is the one giving something to drink to a child, oblivious to being called “faith” by the plinth.  Despite being free-standing statues with a custom-made plinth, they have been clearly placed in the wrong order.  Either that or they’ve been playing musical chairs when nobody’s watching.  I can imagine the council stating the names are not meant to indicate the statue directly above, but that runs counter to the way that anyone would logically interpret the scene.

Is this an intentional placing, or has Highland Council made a gaffe that has, until now, been unnoticed?

4 thoughts on “The wrong graces?

  1. I think they are placed deliberately in the order they are in, and one is supposed to work out (as your friend did) which one they are! We have a stained glass window in a (fairly well known) Glasgow church with Faith, Hope and Charity (or Fides, Spes, Charitas) – Charity is in the middle…however, I think the correct names are under each one!

  2. Hi Simon, They are placed in the order they were in when they adorned the old Tweed Warehouse. I believe it was felt that their order should be maintained as they work better as a group in that order.

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