The Judgment of Paris, an important myth in the ancient Greek world, illustrates the superiority of love over the other forces that are wisdom and power.
According to this immemorial myth, the goddess of dissension created a competition between three goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, quarreling over a golden apple signed “to the fairest”. The mortal Paris is chosen to put an end to this argument, and the scene of the Judgment of Paris has always been depicted at the fateful moment when the apple is given to Aphrodite, goddess of Love and Beauty. She convinced Paris, promising him the love of the fairest woman in the Greek world: Helen, the King of Sparta’s wife. The attraction force of desire has thus provoked the dreadful Trojan War.
Conveying a universal message, this episode particularly fascinated in the times of the Medici, for the essential place given to Eros. Raffaello Sanzio, known as Raffaello, sets the model of the representation through a famous engraving that will be the first to circulate all over Europe. Based on this engraving, and since 16th century, a very large amount of plates, firebacks, medals and other paintings have been realized.
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