The Judgement of Paris 1888
oil on canvas
Gift of the family of the late John Traill, 1918
The ‘Judgement of Paris’ is a tale in Greek mythology that has inspired artists over centuries. It is based on a contest between three goddesses to be deemed the most beautiful.
Kraemer’s depiction centres on the scene in which Paris, a prince of Troy, is asked by Zeus to choose the fairest of the three: Hera, Zeus’ wife and the goddess of Marriage; Athena, Zeus’ daughter and the goddess of Wisdom; and Aphrodite, the goddess of Love.
They each contend for the prize of a golden apple, offered here by Paris to Aphrodite, while Hera and Athena look on.
Trained as an historical and Orientalist painter, Kraemer received the Rome Prize (from the American Academy in Rome) in 1888 for this work.