The Judgment of Paris (c. 1635-38) by Peter Paul Rubens

The Judgment of Paris - Peter Paul Rubens - c.1625

Artwork Information

TitleThe Judgment of Paris
ArtistPeter Paul Rubens
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions139 x 174 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationNational Gallery, London

About The Judgment of Paris

The artwork “The Judgment of Paris”, painted by Peter Paul Rubens circa 1625, is an iconic example of Baroque art, masterfully executed in oil on canvas. It measures 139 by 174 centimeters and falls within the genre of mythological painting. This significant work is part of the collection housed at the National Gallery, London.

The artwork depicts the famous mythological scene where Paris, a mortal, is chosen to determine the fairest among the three goddesses: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. The composition is vividly animated with the sensuous figures of the goddesses presenting themselves to Paris, who is seated to the right. Each goddess exhibits a unique posture and demeanor, suggesting their individual characteristics and the attributes they commonly represent.

To the far left, Mercury, identifiable by his winged cap, stands observing the event. In the upper portion of the painting, a band of celestial figures, perhaps denoting other gods or putti, watch from the clouds, emphasizing the divine importance of this moment. The landscape, executed with lush vegetation and a distant blue horizon, complements the pastoral setting of the mythological narrative. The use of dramatic lighting and rich coloration, hallmarks of Rubens’ style and the Baroque period, imbue the scene with a sense of grandeur and dynamic movement.

Overall, Rubens’ artwork captures the tension and drama of the myth, illustrating not only the skill of the artist but also the opulent taste and complex symbolism prevalent in 17th-century European art.

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