©1994 Donald R Ricker

(46"x94" oil on hardboard)


Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, but on one occasion she did a very foolish thing; she contended with Juno and Venus for the prize of beauty. At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis all the gods were invited except Eris, or Discord. Enraged at her exclusion, the goddess threw a golden apple among the guests with the inscription, "For the Fairest".

Minerva, Juno, and Venus each claimed the apple. Jupiter, not willing to decide in so delicate a matter, sent the goddesses to Mount Ida, where the beautiful shepherd Paris was tending his flocks, and to him was committed the decision. The goddesses accordingly appeared before him. Minerva offered glory and renown in war, Juno promised power and riches, and Venus promised the fairest of women, Helen, for his wife. Each was attempting to bias the decision in her own favor.

Towards dawn Mercury signals that the contest is over. Paris gave Venus the golden apple, thus angering the two other goddesses. The award of the already married Helen to Paris started the Trojan War.

Judgement of Paris was exhibited at the 'D' Street Café in Anchorage AK September/October 1999, and  represented US and Alaska at the second Firenze Biennale in December 1999 where it received a 5th place medal in Painting from the six international jurors..

Learn more about these fascinating mythologies from the modern day sources.. Mythology, Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, Edith Hamilton Bullfinch's Mythology, Thomas Bullfinch  

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