The Judgement of Paris

LL 3588


This painting captures the moment in Greek mythology when Paris is said to have set in train the events that would lead to the Trojan Wars. 'The Judgement of Paris' was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses - Aphrodite, Hera and Athena - to determine who was the fairest. Paris is shown here handing a golden apple to Aphrodite, goddess of love, to signfiy her victory. This is one of Etty’s largest and most celebrated works, painted for the 4th Earl of Darnley and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1826. Etty used as his sources Marcantonio Raimondi’s engraving of Raphael’s 'Judgement of Paris', and an engraving by John Flaxman from his illustrations to Homer's 'Iliad'.