A Landscape with the Judgement of Paris

In the story of the Judgement of Paris, which derives from Homer's 'Iliad' (XXIV, 25-30), Paris, was asked at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis to determine who was the fairest of the goddesses Venus, Minerva and Juno. Paris decided in favour of Venus, as she promised him the love of the most beautiful woman, Helen of Troy. His choice led to the Trojan War. Here, he is shown handing the apple of discord to Venus, who stands between Minerva and Juno. Contemporary viewers would probably have seen a moral lesson in Paris giving preference to love and human emotion over unlimited power and wealth, which the other goddesses had promised him.

The landscape and animals were painted by Jan Both and the figures by Cornelis van Poelenburgh.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1615 - 1652; 1594/5 - 1667
Full title
A Landscape with the Judgement of Paris
Date made
about 1645-50
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
97 x 129 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Richard Simmons, 1847
Inventory number
Location in Gallery