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The judgement of Paris
Albani, Francesco
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Albani, Francesco

Bologna, 1578 - Bologna, 1660

Miniatura autor See author's file

The judgement of Paris

1650 - 1660. Oil on canvas

Francesco Albani was a much favoured pupil of Annibale Carracci. His success was partially due to mythological paintings such as The toilet of Venus (P1) and The judgement of Paris (P2), whose refined and lyrical view of nature helped disseminate the classical ideals of the Carracci`s landscapes.

Albani`s The judgement of Paris, c.1650-60, shows the shepherd prince admiring the beauty of three goddesses competing for the golden apple: Venus, in the centre, accompanied by a dove; Minerva, on the right, identified by her helmet and the weapons lying abandoned on the ground; and Juno, associated with the peacock. In the sky, Cupid hastens to fit an arrow to his bow. As in The toilet of Venus, Albani here eschews action in favour of a placid scene in which the mortal shepherd leans against a tree as he attempts to decide who should receive the apple. On the left, over a landscape enlivened with small waterfalls, we see a river deity, who may be Scamander, running through Mount Ida in the company of some nymphs.

Like The toilet of Venus, this one includes various putti, which some see as an indication of the influence of Titian`s Aldobrandini Bacchanals. The presence of these works in Rome from 1598 onwards certainly had a decisive influence on Albani and his contemporaries. The putti also echo Albani`s own life, however, as he had twelve children and, according to his principal biographer Carlo Cesare Malvasia, the artist actually hung them from the ceiling as models.

A copy of this painting at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, has smaller figures and a less-developed landscape.

While this painting and The toilet of Venus are similar in size, they were probably not a pair. Both were at the Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, and in 1762 were among the works in the Spanish Royal Collection that the prudish Charles III ordered to be destroyed because of their sensuality. The works` immolation was prevented by the Marquis of Esquilache and Anton Raphael Mengs, who greatly admired the classical paintings from Bologna and managed to have them moved to the so-called Casa de Rebeque, near Madrid`s Royal Palace, along with many other works by Titian, Rubens and others. In 1792 the paintings were requested by the Academia de San Fernando as models for the study of colour and were hung in the Sala del Colorido. In 1827 they were taken to the Sala Reservada (Private Room) at the Museo del Prado, which existed until 1838 (González, R.: Italian Masterpieces. From Spain`s Royal Court, Museo del Prado, 2014, pp. 112-114).

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Technical data

Related artworks

The Toilet of Venus
Oil on canvas, 1635 - 1640
Inventory number
P000002
Author
Albani, Francesco
Title
The judgement of Paris
Date
1650 - 1660
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 113 cm.; Width: 171 cm.
Provenance
Royal Collection (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, estudio de Andrés de la Calleja, 1772, nº 220; Academia de San Fernando, Madrid, sala reservada, 1827, nº 81).

Bibliography +

Ponz, Antonio, Viage de España: en que se da noticia de las cosas mas apreciables, y dignas de saberse, que hay en ella, Atlas, 1794; ed. facs. 1972, pp. 58.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, Madrid, 1965, pp. 78.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del siglo XVII: exposición conmemorativa del ciento cincuenta aniversario de la fundación del Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Madrid, 1970, pp. 30.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 5-6.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, I, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York-Londres, 1986, pp. 213, lám. 827.

El Jardín de Melibea, Sociedad Estatal para la Conmemoración de los Centenarios de Felipe II y Carlos V, Madrid, 2000.

González, R., Francesco Albani 'The judgement of Paris' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 112-115.

Checa, F, El arte de las naciones. El Barroco como arte global, El arte de las naciones. El Barroco como arte global, Consejo Estatal para la Cultura y las Artes de Puebla, 2016, pp. 75 n.21.

Other inventories +

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 220.
Estudio de don Andres de la Calleja [...] [13286-13287] 220-221 / Dos [pinturas] iguales vna del juicio de Paris y otra de Venus tocandose de dos varas de largo y vara y tercia de caida originales de Albano

Academia, Sala Reservada, 1827. Núm. 81.
Juicio de Paris. / [Autor] Albano / [Alto] 4 [pies] / [Ancho] 6 [pies] 2 [pulgs.]

Inv. Testamentaría Fernando VII, Real Museo, Sala Reservada, 1834. Núm. 27.
VEINTE Y SIETE. El Juicio de Paris: Paris con la manzana en la mano apoyado en un árbol. / El Alvano. Ecla. boloñesa / L. / 20200

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 671.
Albano. / 671. El juicio de Paris. / Alto 4 pies, 6 lin; ancho 6 pies, 1 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 2.
2.-EL Juicio de Paris / Alto 1,13. Ancho 1,71.-Lienzo.-(Compañero del anterior.) / El jóven pastor del monte Ida, reclinado en el tronco de un árbol, á la margen de un rio, cuyas fuentes nacen de un peñasco, donde se ven dos napeas volcando sendas ánforas, contempla, con la manzana de oro en la mano, á las tres diosas, que se le muestran enteramente desnudas y dando el aura sus leves paños, caracterizadas por sus peculiares atributos. Tiene Juno á sus pies el pavon, Vénus las dos palomas, unidas por el pico, y Minerva los arreos de guerra. Sobre la yerba, á la derecha, un grupo de dos...

Exhibitions +

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Zaragoza
26.04.2019 - 18.08.2019

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Sevilla
29.11.2018 - 24.03.2019

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
San Sebastián
06.07.2018 - 28.10.2018

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Oviedo
15.03.2018 - 17.06.2018

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Palma de Mallorca
22.11.2017 - 18.02.2018

El Arte de las Naciones. El Barroco como arte global
Puebla
18.10.2016 - 20.02.2017

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
Melbourne
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

Location +

(Temporary Exhibition)

Displayed objects +

Lances / Spears

Bow/Arrow

Helmet

Shield / Coat of Arms

Money

Book

Crown / Wreath

Update date: 25-07-2019 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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