Dec 8, 2008

Judgment of Paris

Judgment of Paris

c. 1505


Diameter: 5.4 cm (2 1/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1984.54



Fonduli's relief depicts the ancient tale of the judgment of Paris, a mythological beauty contest for three Greek goddesses judged by the Trojan prince Paris. He holds an apple in his hand while Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena stand before him. Aphrodite extends a hand, signifying her attainment of the apple, and Athena holds the flaming head of a beast in the air, suggesting the imminent conflict of the Trojan War. In some versions of the story, only Aphrodite appears naked before Paris, but in Fonduli's work, Hera and Athena are completely nude, while Aphrodite ineffectually holds light drapery to shield her lower body. Fonduli blurs the identity of the three goddesses, showing that there is little difference in their respective beauty.

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