Copyright: Giorgi Story of Paris.jpg

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Italian, Siena, about 1460 s

Tempera on wood

: 13 3/8 x 6 11/16 in.;: 13 3/4 x 42 15/16 in.

70. PB. 45

Paris, a shepherd and the most handsome man in the world, hands the apple inscribed For the fairest to Aphrodite without even looking at her rival goddesses Hera and Athena. He thus chose the love of Helen, the world ‘s most beautiful woman, over greatness or warlike prowess. Renaissance artists often depicted this mythological beauty contest; cassoni,or bride ‘s chests, typically offered such poetic themes, usually with secular subjects.

In the fashion of his native Siena, a center of cassoni production, Francesco di Giorgio Martini decorated many such cassoni with ethereal figures, delicate lines, and intricate patterning. The blonde, flowing hair and awkwardly posed necks and hands of these figures reflect Francesco ‘s own style, as do the nuanced differences between red and rose.

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