The subject is taken from classical mythology. Paris is seated in the foreground holding in his hand the golden apple which he is to present to the fairest of the three goddesses Juno, Minerva and Venus. Juno can be seen in the background, while Minerva stands behind Paris on the right and Venus is on the left, facing him.
For a long time this oil sketch remained in the artist's studio. In 1890 Fantin-Latour produced a pastel and in 1903 a second oil painting which were based on this sketch. The pastel was exhibited at the Salon of 1890.
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