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The Judgment of Paris
  • Date: 1754
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 164 x 76.6 cm
  • Object size: 166.7 x 84.5 cm
  • Inv: P444
  • Location: Oval Drawing Room
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Further Reading
  • At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the goddess Iris threw a golden apple among the guests, inscribed ‘to the fairest’. Venus, Juno, and Minerva all claimed the prize. Jupiter decreed that the shepherd Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, should settle the dispute. When Venus promised Paris the love of the most beautiful woman on earth, he decided in her favour. Boucher skilfully inscribed the scene into an unusual, narrow vertical presenting the three goddesses at different angles and Juno and Minerva in the process of leaving the scene. Boucher carefully prepared the composition with numerous drawings.

    This work, together with P429 and P438, are part of a cycle with scenes of Venus. All three pictures are fine examples of Boucher’s mythological canvases of the 1750s. Their intended location is unknown, but their unusual dimensions and open sensuality suggest they were part of an interior decoration. In the nineteenth-century, the three works were enlarged in order to be combined with the slightly wider P432 to form a screen.