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The Judgment of Paris

Artist/Maker: Jacob Jordaens (Flanders, 1593-1678)

Date: ca. 1620-1625
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Sight: 34 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. (87.6 x 113 cm)
Framed: 48 x 59 x 3 1/2 in. (121.9 x 149.9 x 8.9 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of The Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Object number: 61.046.000
DescriptionLike his great Flemish contemporary, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Jordaens developed a highly naturalistic Baroque style characterized by a dynamic mode of presentation, a painterly approach to form, vivid coloring, and the rich effects of texture. However, in contrast with Ruben’s reliance on idealized, classicizing figures, Jordaens generally used native, commonplace models, most often members of his own family. Here, for example, the three nude goddesses – Aphrodite (to the right of Paris), Hera (in the center), and Athena (shown from the back) – as well as the female personification of Abundance holding aloft a larger cornucopia, are believed to be representations of Jordaens’s young wife, the daughter of his former teacher, Adam van Noort. Painted early in his career, during the period when Jordaens worked as an associate in Rubens’s workshop, The Judgment of Paris illustrates the important moment in classical history when the shepherd Paris, called upon by Zeus to decide who among three goddesses was to receive the golden apple inscribed “for the fairest,” awarded the fruit to Aphrodite, thereby precipitating the Trojan War.
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In Collection(s)