Monday, March 1, 2010

Masterpiece Monday

Angelica Kauffman. Venus Persuades Helen to Fall in Love with Paris. 1790

The Greek mythology behind this painting is as follows:
There was a golden apple that was to go to the fairest goddess. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all believed themselves to be the fairest and therefore each tried to claim the apple. Zeus was chosen to settle the dispute but he did not want to chose one over the other in fear of angering them. He instead chose the mortal Paris to make the decision. All of the goddesses tried to bribe Paris with wealth, wisdom, and power; but it was Aphrodite's bribe of marrying the most beautiful mortal woman that Paris accepted. Paris. The most beautiful mortal woman was Helen; whom Paris abducted after choosing Aphrodite as the fairest goddess. The other two goddesses were furious and then used the kidnapping of Helen to begin the Trojan War.