History of this work :The story begins at the Wedding of Peleus and Thetis to which all of the gods were invited, except Eris. She was turned away, and in her anger cast a golden apple amongst the assembled goddesses addressed "To the Fairest."Three goddesses laid claim to the apple--Aphrodite, Hera and Athena. Zeus was asked to mediate and he commanded Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris of Troy to decide the issue.The three goddesses appearing before the shepherd prince, each offering him gifts for favour. He chose Aphrodite, the most beautiful woman, for wife. The subsequent abduction of Helene led directly to the Trojan War and the fall of the city.
Dimensions : 144.8 cm x 193.7 cm and this work is located in National Gallery in London.
There are two version of this work:
1.1636: This version follows the story narrated in Lucinas's 'Judgement of the Goddesses'. It shows the award of the golden apple, though alterations Rubens first painted an earlier point in the story, when the goddesses are ordered to undress by Mercury. It was bought for the National Gallery in London in 1844
2. 1638: This version is now in the Prado. It was commissioned by Philip IV of Spanish's brother Cardinal - Infant Ferdinand of Austria and after Ferdinand's death moved to the Spanish royal collection. In 1788 Charles III of Spain decided it was immodest and ordered the painting to be burned, but he died before that the order could be carried out. This was completed before his death.
Characteristics of the three Goddesses :
- Hera: is the wife of Zeus and a matriarchal symbol of marriage and domesticity, childbirth, and the home. Her feminine power and divine authority as well as the cognitive wherewithal to defend , often through clever contrivance , the absolute sovereignty of her home makes her the icon of the city-state
- Athena: is the par excellence goddess of war and wisdom, which to modern sensibilities may seem like an oxymoron. In Homer she is the great protector of Odysseus and other Greek warriors.
- Aphrodite: wins the prize of course. We recognize here that the contest is not really much of a contest as Aphrodite alone personifies beauty. Paris could hardly choose otherwise. She is also the archetype of love and fertility.
Characteristics of Baroque art:
Main features: use of oil painting , predominance of colour over drawing, use of warm colours, contrast of light and shadow ( chiaroscuro ) , realism , movement , complex compositioms ( foreshortened figures , asymmetry , curved lines ... ) n order to shock the audience.
Others works by Rubens:
Venus at the miror ( 1615 ) , Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia ( 1566 - 1633 ) . Venus and Adonis. The Birth of the Milky Way in Madrid ( Capital of Spain ). etc.....
There are mythological and early works of Rubens.
Book of third E.S.O