Thursday, January 7, 2016

39 Works by 39 Old Masters Artists Embedded with Helen of Troy, with Footnotes

Gustave Moreau (1826–1898)
Hélène à la porte Scée./ Helen at the Scaean Gate, c. 1880s
Oil on canvas
height: 72 cm (28.3 in); width: 100 cm (39.3 in)
Musée Gustave Moreau

Gustave Moreau, see below

Throughout his career, Gustave Moreau showed remarkable fidelity to the character of Hélène de Troie by devoting an exceptionally rich ensemble to her. Main rival of Salomé in the heart of the artist, the most beautiful woman of antiquity appeared in his work in 1852, then returned triumphantly in the company of Galatea on the occasion of the last Salon of the painter in 1880. More on this painting

Helen of Troy has inspired artistic and cultural works for nearly six centuries. The following works cover various media to include items of historic interest, enduring works of high art, and recent representations in popular culture. They represent portrayals that a reader has a reasonable chance of encountering rather than a complete catalog.

These images offer different visions of Helen that, taken together, show the complexity and richness of the mythological figure, and the many ways she has appeared throughout the ages.
Matthias Gerung or Gerou (um 1500 - 68/70)
The Judgement of Paris and the Trojan War, c. 1540
151 x 103 cm (59,3 x 40,5 inches)
oil on panel
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Matthias Gerung (1500-1570) was one of Hans Schäufelein´s pupils in Nördlingen. He lived in Lauingen since 1525, where he worked under the Count Ottheinrich, and also he was employed as local inspector from 1531 to 1567. He illuminated a New Testament and Apocalyse that came from a 15th Century Bible for the Count, between 1530 and 1531; he also produced a cycle of paintings about the destruction of Troy and the History of Paris for the Count’s castle room in Neuburg (1540) and also designed a series of tapestry devoted to the Count’s life from 1533 till 1543. The Count became Protestant in 1541, and, because of that, Gerung was employed to illustrate the rules of the new Church, and to design etchings to attack the Pope and the abuses of the Roman Church. These works compose the main Gerung’s artistic work. There is a contradiction, Gerung kept on working on these etchings while he apparently supported the Catholic Emperor Carlos I in 1546. We can see this support in the painting for the city council in 1551 about Carlos I and his army receiving homage from the people of Lauingen, in which Gerung represented himself as one of the characters. Just because this changed, Gerung was called by the Prince Archbishop of Ausburg to design five etchings to the Secundum ritum Augustensis ecclesie (1555). In his late work we must emphasize the painting Melancholie (1558) inspired by tha famous Durer’s print. More on Matthias Gerung

The origins of Helen's myth date back to the Mycenaean age. The first record of her name appears in the poems of Homer, but scholars assume that such myths invented or received by the Mycenaean Greeks made their way to Homer. Her mythological birthplace was Sparta of the Age of Heroes, which features prominently in the canon of Greek myth: in later ancient Greek memory, the Mycenaean Bronze Age became the age of the Greek heroes.

Helen is the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and the wife of the Spartan king Menelaus. Euripides' play Helen, written in the late 5th century BC, is the earliest source to report the most familiar account of Helen's birth. She was actually Zeus' daughter. In the form of a swan, the king of god was chased by an eagle, and sought refuge with Leda. The swan gained her affection, and the two mated. Leda then produced an egg, from which Helen emerged. The First Vatican Mythographer introduces the notion that two eggs came from the union: one containing Castor and Pollux; one with Helen and Clytemnestra.  Pseudo-Apollodorus states that Leda had intercourse with both Zeus and Tyndareus the night she conceived Helen.

Cesare da Sesto, (1477–1523)
After Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
Leda and the Swan, c. between 1505 and 1510
oil on panel
Height: 69.5 cm (27.4 in). Width: 73.7 cm (29 in).
Wilton House, Salisbury

On the other hand, in the Cypria, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and the goddess Nemesis. In the Cypria, Nemesis did not wish to mate with Zeus. She therefore changed shape into various animals as she attempted to flee Zeus, finally becoming a goose. Zeus also transformed himself into a goose and mated with Nemesis, who produced an egg from which Helen was born. Presumably, this egg was somehow transferred to Leda. Later sources state either that it was brought to Leda by a shepherd who discovered it in a grove in Attica, or that it was dropped into her lap by Hermes. 

Odorico Politi, Italian, 1785-1846
Theseus and Pirithous Playing Dice for Helen. 1831.
Treviso, Museo Civico

Odorico Politi (Udine, 27 January 1785 - Venice, 18 October 1846) was an Italian painter. Born in Udine, and studied in Venice at the Accdademia di Belle Arti with Teodoro Matteini. In 1812 he returned to Udine and began a career as a painter of neoclassical frescoes, specializing in historical and mythological subjects. Some of these frescoes can now be seen at the Palazzo Antonini and at Napoleon's Royal Palace in Venice. In 1831 he received an appointment as professor at the Accdademia di Belle Arti in Venice. Notable students include Pompeo Marino Molmenti, Antonio Dugoni, Fausto Antonioli and Cesare Dell'Acqua. More on Odorico Politi

Two Athenians, Theseus and Pirithous, who were both sons of gods, decided that they  should have divine wives; they thus pledged to help each other abduct two daughters of Zeus. Theseus chose Helen, and Pirithous vowed to marry Persephone, the wife of Hades. Theseus took Helen and left her with his mother Aethra, in Athens. Theseus and Pirithous then traveled to the underworld, the domain of Hades, to kidnap Persephone. Hades pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast, but, as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there. Helen's abduction caused an invasion of Athens by Castor and Pollux, who captured Aethra in revenge, and returned their sister to Sparta.

Filippo Pelagio Palagi, 1775 - 1860
Theseus and Pirithous kidnapping Helen, c. 1814
Oil on canvas
Gallery of Theseus in Palazzo Torlonia in Rome

This large painting is a scale model for one of the painted panels of the Gallery of Theseus in Palazzo Torlonia in Rome. This building, one of the cornerstones of Italian neoclassical, was demolished in 1901

Pelagio Palagi (May 25, 1775 – March 6, 1860). Architect, portrait painter, furniture designer, ornamentalist, and collector, Filippo Pelagio Palagi had a self-described "mania for antique things" that affected all aspects of his life. His interest in archaeology began when he moved to Rome in 1806 and soon became a fundamental inspiration in his work. Palagi was interested in Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquity, whose motifs he inventively and eclectically combined in his furniture and ornament designs. Although he protested that he was "not well-off, otherwise [he] would not merely praise [antiquities] but would dearly love to own them," he was a passionate collector and amassed one of the richest archaeological collections of the 1800s. Palagi owned a considerable collection of bronzes, marble sculptures, Etruscan vases, and gold, silver, and glass objects acquired during his years living in Rome, Milan, and Turin. More on Pelagio Palagi

In most accounts of this event, Helen was quite young; some said she was seven years old and others make her ten years old. On the other hand, Stesichorus (c. 640 – 555 BC) The first great lyric poet of the West) said that Iphigenia (the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra, and thus princess of Argos, whom Agamemnon was commanded by the gods to kill her as a sacrifice to allow his ships to sail to Troy), was the daughter of Theseus and Helen. Which implies that Helen was of childbearing age.

Helen in her youth: she is presented as a young princess wrestling naked in the palaestra (the ancient Greek wrestling school); an image alluding to a part of girls' physical education in classical Sparta. Helen was a girl who practices arms and hunts with her brothers. "... or like Helen, on the sands of Eurotas, between Castor and Pollux, one to be victor in boxing, the other with horses: with naked breasts she carried weapons, they say, and did not blush with her divine brothers there".

When it was time for Helen to marry, many kings and princes from around the world came to seek her hand, bringing rich gifts with them, or sent emissaries to do so on their behalf. The final decision was in the hands of Tyndareus (husband of Leda, and Helen's step father). Menelaus her future husband, did not attend but sent his brother, Agamemnon, to represent him.

Tyndareus was afraid to select a husband for his daughter, or send any of the suitors away, for fear of offending them and giving grounds for a quarrel. Odysseus was one of the suitors, but had brought no gifts because he believed he had little chance to win the contest. He thus promised to solve the problem, if Tyndareus in turn would support him in his courting of Penelope, the daughter of Icarius.

Francesco Primaticcio, (1505–1570)
Ulysses (Odysseus in Greek mythology) and Penelope, circa 1545
oil on canvas
Toledo Museum, Ohio, United States

Francesco Primaticcio (April 30, 1504 – 1570) see below

Tyndareus readily agreed, and Odysseus proposed that, before the decision was made, all the suitors should swear a most solemn oath to defend the chosen husband against whoever should quarrel with him. After the suitors had sworn not to retaliate, Menelaus was chosen to be Helen's husband. As a sign of the importance of the pact, Tyndareus sacrificed a horse. Helen and Menelaus became rulers of Sparta, after Tyndareus and Leda abdicated. Menelaus and Helen ruled in Sparta for at least ten years; they had a daughter, Hermione, and three sons: Aethiolas, Maraphius, and Pleisthenes.

The marriage of Helen and Menelaus marks the beginning of the end of the age of heroes. Concluding the catalog of Helen's suitors, Hesiod reports Zeus' plan to obliterate the race of men and the heroes in particular. The Trojan War, caused by Helen's elopement with Paris, is going to be his means to this end.

Hans von Aachen,  (1552–1615)
Pallas Athena, Venus and Juno, c. 1593
oil on canvas
54 × 67 cm (21.3 × 26.4 in)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Here identifiable by their attributes: Pallas Athena with her helmet; Venus, the winner, holding the golden apple; and Juno, with the crescent moon at her head. Such a painting required a sophisticated viewer to decipher its subject without narrative context. It was probably commissioned by a member of Rudolph II's court at Prague, where Hans von Aachen was named court painter in 1592. Rudolph II was known as a great supporter of the arts and the creator of Europe's most extensive Kunstkammer. More on this painting

Hans von Aachen (1552 – 4 March 1615), was a German mannerist painter. He was born in Cologne, but his name is derived from the birthplace of his father, Aachen in Germany. Other variations of the name include Johann von - and - von Achen and various concisions like Janachen, Fanachen, Abak, Jean Dac, Aquano, van Aken etc.

Hans von Aachen began painting in Germany as a pupil of the Flemish master E. Jerrigh. He then, like many northern artists of his time, spent a long period in Italy. He lived in Venice from 1574 to 1588 and toured Florence and Rome. He initially became a pupil of Kaspar Rems, but soon decided to develop his own mannerist technique, by studying Tintoretto and Michelangelo's followers. However, during all of his life he was influenced by the style of Bartholomeus Spranger and Hendrick Goltzius who dominated the art scene in Germany at the time.

He returned to Germany in 1588 where he became well known as a painter of portraits for noble houses. He also produced historical and religious scenes and earned a wide reputation. In Munich he came into contact with the Imperial Court of Prague. In 1592 he was appointed official painter of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor. However, Von Aachen only moved to Prague years later where he was commissioned to paint mythological and allegorical subjects such as his Liberation of Hungary (1598, Budapest). Emperor Rudolph II conferred knighthood on him in 1605. He became good friends with Kryštof Popel the Younger of Lobkowicz, the Chief Steward of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Von Aachen continued working on commissions under the newly appointed ruler, Matthias I. He died in Prague. More on Hans von Aachen

It is recounted that Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (parents of Achilles). 

Joachim Wtewael, (1566 - 1638) 
The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, c. 1612
Oil on panel 
109.5 x 166.4 cm (43 1/8 x 65 1/2 inches)
RISD Museum, Providence, RI, United States

Joachim Anthoniszoon Wtewael (1566 – 1 August 1638) see below

Joachim Wtewael (1566 - 1638) 
Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, c. 1602 
Oil on copper
Adapted from an engraving by Hendrik Goltzius
Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig,Germany

Joachim Anthoniszoon Wtewael (1566 – 1 August 1638) see below

However, Eris, goddess of discord was not invited, for it was believed she would have made the party unpleasant for everyone. Angered by this snub, Eris arrived at the celebration with a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, which she threw into the proceedings as a prize of beauty. Upon the apple was the inscription  "for the fairest one".

Boccanera slabs from Cerveteri (Rome)
The Judgement of Paris, c. 560-550 BC
Width: 56 - 57 centimetres, Height: 98 - 102 centimetres
London - British Museum

E T R U S C A N. In 1874, the brothers Boccanera discovered a tomb in the necropolis of Banditaccia, inside it they found five slabs painted terracotta. Scene of the Judgment of Paris. From left to right: Paris is approached by Turms, leading Menrva, Uni and Turan; a servant with cosmetic jar faces in the opposite direction.  More on this work

File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Judgment of Paris (1630s).jpg
Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
The Judgment of Paris, from 1632 until 1633
oil on panel
144.8 × 193.7 cm (57 × 76.3 in)
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

The Judgement of Paris produced by Peter Paul Rubens' version of idealised feminine beauty, with the goddesses Venus, Minerva and Juno on one side and Paris accompanied by Mercury on the other (the 1636 version has a putto at the far left and Alecto above the goddesses, whilst the 1638 version adds a putto between Minerva and Venus).

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. More on this painting

File:Peter Paul Rubens 115.jpg
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
The Judgment of Paris, circa 1638-1639
oil on panel
199 × 381 cm (78.3 × 150 in)
Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Painted in 1638 or 1639, this version is now in the Prado and was completed shortly before his death while he was ill with gout. It was commissioned by Philip IV of Spain's brother Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria and on Ferdinand's death moved to the Spanish royal collection. In 1788 Charles III of Spain decided it was immodest and ordered it to be burned, but he died before that order could be carried out.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) see above

Earlier Paintings of the The Judgment of Paris by Ruben:

File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Judgment of Paris - WGA20307.jpg
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
The Judgment of Paris, probably between 1597 and 1599
Oil on canvas
Height: 144.8 cm (57 in). Width: 193.7 cm (76.3 in).
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Judgement of Paris, c.1606 (Museo del Prado).jpg
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
The Judgment of Paris, circa 1606
oil on panel
89,114.5 cm (35,084.4 in)
Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Judgement of Paris - WGA20277.jpg
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
The Judgment of Paris, c. 1606
Oil on copper
Height: 32.5 cm (12.8 in). Width: 43.5 cm (17.1 in).
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria

File:Sąd Parysa Rubens Dresden.jpg
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
The Judgment of Paris, from 1632 until 1633
earlier than the similar London painting
oil on panel
144.8 × 193.7 cm (57 × 76.3 in)
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister,  Dresden, Germany

Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. They asked Zeus to judge which of them was fairest, and eventually he, reluctant to favor any claim himself, declared that Paris, a Trojan mortal, would judge their cases, for he had recently shown his exemplary fairness in a contest in which Ares in bull form had bested Paris's own prize bull, and the shepherd-prince had unhesitatingly awarded the prize to the god.

Sandro Botticelli, (1445–1510)
Judgement of Paris, 1485
This is one of the very few versions in which all three goddesses are fully clothed
Tempera on panel
height: 81 cm (31.8 in); width: 197 cm (77.5 in) 
Galleria Cini,  Venezia, Italy

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli (1445 – May 17, 1510), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later in his Vita of Botticelli as a "golden age". Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting. More on Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi

Thus it happened that, with Hermes as their guide, the three candidates bathed in the spring of Ida, then confronted Paris on Mount Ida. While Paris inspected them, each attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite offered the world's most beautiful woman. This was Helen of Sparta, wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris accepted Aphrodite's gift and awarded the apple to her. 

Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638)
The Judgment of Paris, circa 1605
Oil on copper
Height: 22 cm (8.7 in). Width: 28 cm (11 in).
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Joachim Anthoniszoon Wtewael (1566 – 1 August 1638) see below

File:Joachim Wtewael - The Judgment of Paris (1615).jpg
Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638)
The Judgment of Paris, c. 1615
Oil on oak
Height: 60 cm (23.6 in). Width: 79 cm (31.1 in).
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

In the foreground Paris hands the golden apple marked 'to the fairest' to Venus; Juno is on the left and Minerva (with helmet and spears) on the right. Paris is seated in the centre with Mercury behind him.

Joachim Anthoniszoon Wtewael (1566 – 1 August 1638) was a Dutch Mannerist painter and draughtsman, as well as a highly successful flax merchant, and town councillor of Utrecht. Wtewael was one of the leading Dutch exponents of Northern Mannerism, and his distinctive and attractive style remained largely untouched by the naturalistic developments happening around him, "characterized by masterfully drawn, highly polished figures often set in capricious poses". Wtewael was trained in the style of late 16th-century Haarlem Mannerism and remained essentially faithful to it, despite painting well into the early period of Dutch Golden Age painting. More on Joachim Anthoniszoon Wtewael

Henri-Pierre Picou, (1824–1895)
The Judgment of Paris
Oil on canvas
21.625 × 27.5 in (54.9 × 69.9 cm)
Dahesh Museum of Art, New York, United States

Henri-Pierre Picou (Nantes 27 February 1824 – 17 July 1895) was a French painter. His oeuvre began with portraits and classical historical subject matter but he later moved on to allegorical and mythological themes.

He was an academic painter and one of the founders of the Neo-Grec school, along with his close friends Gustave Boulanger, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Jean-Louis Hamon, also academic painters. All of them studied in the workshops of both Paul Delaroche and later Charles Gleyre. Picou's style was noticeably influenced by Gleyre. While the rest of the group generally painted classical and mythological subjects, Picou also received commissions for large religious frescoes from many churches, including the Église Saint-Roch. More on Henri-Pierre Picou

Paul Cézanne, (1839–1906)
Judgment of Paris, c. 1862-1864
oil on canvas
15 × 21 cm (5.9 × 8.3 in)
Private collection

Paul Cézanne (19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects.

Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all." More on Paul Cézanne

File:Anselm Feuerbach - Das Urteil des Paris.jpg
Anselm Feuerbach, (1829–1880)
The Judgment of Paris, 1869-1870
Oil on canvas
228 × 443 cm (89.8 × 174.4 in)
Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany

Anselm Feuerbach,  (born September 12, 1829 - died January 4, 1880, Venice, Italy), one of the leading German painters of the mid-19th century working in a Romantic style of Classicism.

Feuerbach was the son of a classical archaeologist and the nephew of the philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. After studying art at the Düsseldorf Academy and in Munich, he went twice to Paris, where he worked in the studio of Thomas Couture and was influenced by Gustave Courbet and Eugène Delacroix.

Feuerbach lived in Italy from 1855 to 1873, and much of his best work was produced during this period. He was influenced by antique Greek and Roman art and Italian High Renaissance painting, and he developed an interest in idealized figure compositions of a lyrical, elegiac nature. 

In 1873 Feuerbach became a professor at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and painted for the academy building Fall of the Titans, generally regarded as his weakest work. Ill and discouraged by the harsh criticism of this work, Feuerbach left Vienna in 1876 and returned to Italy, where he died. More on Anselm Feuerbach

Max Klinger, (1857–1920)
Le Jugement de Paris, c. 1886-1887
Oil on canvas
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien, Austria

Max Klinger (18 February 1857 – 5 July 1920) was a German Symbolist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer. Klinger was born in Leipzig and studied in Karlsruhe. An admirer of the etchings of Menzel and Goya, he shortly became a skilled and imaginative engraver in his own right. He began creating sculptures in the early 1880s. From 1883–1893 he lived in Rome, and became increasingly influenced by the Italian Renaissance and antiquity. More on Max Klinger

File: Enrique Simonet - The Judgment of Paris - 1904.jpg
Enrique Simonet, (1866–1927)
The Judgement of Paris, c. 1904
Oil on canvas
Height: 215 cm (84.6 in). Width: 331 cm (130.3 in).
Museum of Málaga, Spain

Enrique Simonet Lombardo (February 2, 1866 – April 20, 1927) was a Spanish painter, born in Valencia. Apparently his first vocation of childhood was religious studies, but he abandoned it to devote himself to painting. Despite being Valencian and studying at the Saint Charles Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Valencia, he joined a circle of artists in the city of Málaga. He also attended the workshop of Bernardo Ferrándiz Bádenes, forming part of the Malaga school of painting. More on Enrique Simonet Lombardo

Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678)
The Golden Apple of Discord, c. 1633
Oil on canvas
181 × 288 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain

This is Jacob Jordaens’ The Golden Apple of Discord from 1633, based on a brilliant oil sketch by Rubens. The facially discordant Eris, seen in midair behind the deities, has just made her gift of the golden apple, which is at the centre of the grasping hands, above the table.

At the left, Minerva (Pallas Athene) reaches forward for it. In front of her, Venus, her son Cupid at her knee, points to herself as the goddess most deserving of the apple. On the other side of the table, Juno reaches her hand out for it too. This sets up the beauty contest at the heart of this section of the story, between the goddesses Hera (Juno), Athena (Minerva or Pallas Athene) and Aphrodite (Venus). More on this painting

Jacob Jordaens (19 May 1593 – 18 October 1678) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and tapestry designer known for his history paintings, genre scenes and portraits. After Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, he was the leading Flemish Baroque painter of his day. Unlike those contemporaries he never travelled abroad to study Italian painting, and his career is marked by an indifference to their intellectual and courtly aspirations. In fact, except for a few short trips to locations in the Low Countries, he remained in Antwerp his entire life. As well as being a successful painter, he was a prominent designer of tapestries. Like Rubens, Jordaens painted altarpieces, mythological, and allegorical scenes, and after 1640—the year Rubens died—he was the most important painter in Antwerp for large-scale commissions and the status of his patrons increased in general. However, he is best known today for his numerous large genre scenes based on proverbs in the manner of his contemporary Jan Brueghel the Elder, depicting The King Drinks and As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young. Jordaens' main artistic influences, besides Rubens and the Brueghel family, were northern Italian painters such as Jacopo Bassano, Paolo Veronese, and Caravaggio. More on Jacob Jordaens

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, (1841–1919)
The Judgment of Paris, circa 1908-1910
Oil on canvas
73 × 92.5 cm (28.7 × 36.4 in)
Hiroshima Museum of Art, Japan

A scene where the most beautiful out of three contestants – the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite (Venus) – is being chosen. The Trojan prince Paris has been ordered by Zeus to make the judgment, and in the end he hands the apple inscribed with “For the fairest one” to Aphrodite. The beautiful goddesses competing with each other had repeatedly been the subject of paintings by many of the old masters. More on this painting

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)
The Judgment of Paris, circa 1908
Oil on canvas
54.6 x 65.1 cm 
Collection of Henry P. Mclllhenny, Germantown, Pennsylvania

Renoir shows us the moment of the bestowal of the apple, as Mercury, at the left, signals the end of the contest.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)
Study for The Judgment of Paris, circa 1908
Oil on canvas
54.6 x 65.1 cm 
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Pierre-Auguste Renoir,  (born February 25, 1841, Limoges, France—died December 3, 1919, Cagnes), French painter originally associated with the Impressionist movement. His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women. More on Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Alice Lenkiewicz
The Judgement of Paris, c. 2013
 Oil and acrylic paint
90 × 90 × 3.7 cm
Private collection

Alice Lenkiewicz, British (b. 1964) - lives in Liverpool, Merseyside, UK) was born in 1964 in Tavistock, Devon and brought up in Plymouth. Her parents are the Plymouth artist, Robert Lenkiewicz and her mother is Celia. Alice has always been creative and painted and written from an early age. She has exhibited in the UK and internationally, and has work in a growing number of public and private collections.

Alice's love of beautiful objects, historical artifacts and pattern combined with her interest in fairy tales and the more reflective nature of otherworldly deities has led her to cover a range of themes that touch on a number of genres and issues.

Alice completed her degree in Fine Art and English at Edge Hill University in 1998, obtaining a 1st class honours degree, continuing on to a Masters in 'Writing Studies', During this time she edited, published and wrote poetry and short fiction. More on Alice Lenkiewicz

Paris, came to Sparta to claim Helen. 

File:Gavin Hamilton 001.jpg
Gavin Hamilton, (1723–1798)
Venus giving Helen to Paris as his wife, c. 1782-1784
Oil on canvas
325 × 280 cm (128 × 110.2 in)
Museo di Roma, Rome, Italy

Gavin Hamilton,  (born 1723, Bertram Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scot.—died Jan. 4, 1798, Rome, Papal States [Italy]) see below

Angelica Kauffman, (1741–1807)
Venus Induces Helen to Fall in Love with Paris, c. 1790
Oil on canvas
Height: 102 cm (40.2 in). Width: 127.5 cm (50.2 in).
Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia

Angelica Kauffmann, in full Maria Anna Catharina Angelica Kauffmann, (born Oct. 30, 1741, Chur, Switz.—died Nov. 5, 1807, Rome, Papal States [Italy]), painter in the early Neoclassical style who is best known for her decorative wall paintings for residences designed by Robert Adam.

Her early paintings were influenced by the French Rococo works of Henri Gravelot and François Boucher. In 1754 and 1763 she visited Italy, and while in Rome she was influenced by the Neoclassicism of Anton Raphael Mengs.

She was induced by Lady Wentworth, wife of the English ambassador, to accompany her to London in 1766. She was well received and was particularly favoured by the royal family. Sir Joshua Reynolds became a close friend, and most of the numerous portraits and self-portraits done in her English period were influenced by his style of portrait painting. Her name is found among the signatories to the petition for the establishment of the Royal Academy, and in its first catalogue of 1769 she is listed as a member. She was one of only two women founding members. Kauffmann retired to Rome in the early 1780s with her second husband, the Venetian painter Antonio Zucchi.

Kauffmann’s pastoral and mythological compositions portray gods and goddesses. Her paintings are Rococo in tone and approach, though her figures are given Neoclassical poses and draperies. Kauffmann’s portraits of female sitters are among her finest works. More on Angelica Kauffmann

Eros points out to Helen (on the right) Paris (on the left) dressed in Oriental fashion. 
Fresco, late Augustan period. From a cubiculum of the House of Jason (IX, 5, 18) in Pompeii. Stored in the Museo Nazionale Archeologico of Naples.

Although Helen is sometimes depicted as being raped by Paris, Ancient Greek sources are often elliptical and contradictory. Herodotus (a Greek historian modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) states that Helen was abducted, but the Cypria simply mentions that, after giving Helen gifts, "Aphrodite brings the Spartan queen together with the Prince of Troy." Sappho argues that Helen willingly left behind Menelaus and their nine-year-old daughter, Hermione, to be with Paris.

Liberale da Verona (1441–1526) 
Abduction of Helen, c. 1470
Oil on poplar wood
height: 41 cm (16.1 in); width: 110 cm (43.3 in)
Musée du Petit Palais

Liberale da Verona (1441–1526) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period, active mainly in Verona. He was a pupil of the painter Vincenzo di Stefano, although he was strongly influenced by Andrea Mantegna and Jacopo Bellini. He was featured in the Vite of Giorgio Vasari. In Verona, he painted an Adoration of the Magi in the Duomo, and another for the chapel in the bishopric. For the church of San Bernardino, he painted in the chapel of the company of the Maddalena. He also painted a Birth and Assumption of the Virgin. At the Brera Gallery, there is a St. Stephen. There are illuminated books by him in cathedral of Chiusi. The St Sebastian in the Princeton University Art Museum is attributed to Liberale. More on Liberale da Verona

THE RAPE OF HELEN by Luca Giordano:
Luca Giordano, (Italian, 1634–1705)
Oil on Glass
28 x 34 cm. (11 x 13.4 in.)
Private collection

Luca Giordano, see below

Luca Giordano, (Italian, 1634–1705)
Oil on Glass
28 x 34 cm. (11 x 13.4 in.)
Private collection

Giordano Luca, 1634-1705. 
The Abduction of Helen
Oil on canvas
60 3/8  by 81 5/8  in.; 153.4 by 208 cm.
Private collection

Luca Giordano,  (born Oct. 18, 1634, Naples—died Jan. 3, 1705, Naples), the most celebrated and prolific Neapolitan painter of the late 17th century. His nickname Luca Fa Presto (“Luca, Work Quickly”) is because he is said to have painted a large altarpiece in one day, it is no wonder that his output, both in oil and in fresco, was enormous. His range of subject matter was equally great, although most of his pictures deal with religious or mythological themes.

Giordano’s earliest dated work is of 1651. He was influenced at the beginning of his career by the work of José de Ribera. His style underwent a profound change as a result of journeys to Rome, Florence, and Venice. The lightness and brightness of Paolo Veronese’s decorative works in Venice and the recent work of Pietro da Cortona in Rome and Florence induced him to abandon sober drama in favour of a more decorative approach. The influence of Pietro’s frescoes in the Pitti Palace, Florence, is particularly evident in Giordano’s huge ceiling fresco in the ballroom of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, begun in 1682 and completed in the following year. More on Luca Giordano

Johann Georg Platzer, (1704–1761)
The Abduction of Helen, c.1740–1760
Oil on copper
40.3 x 59.4 cm
The Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom

Johann Georg Platzer (1704–1761) was a prolific Austrian Rococo painter and draughtsman. Platzer was born in Eppan in the County of Tyrol, and came from a family of painters. He painted primarily historical and mythical scenes. The Joanneum Alte Galerie in Graz houses the largest collection of Platzer's work under a single roof. Platzer worked with his uncle as a court painter in Passau. He returned to Eppan where he continued to work until his death in 1761. More on Johann Georg Platzer

File:Francesco Primaticcio 003.jpg
Francesco Primaticcio, (1505–1570)
Abduction of Helen, c. 1530-1539
oil on canvas
155 × 188 cm (61 × 74 in)
Bowes Museum,  United Kingdom

In western painting, Helen's journey to Troy is usually depicted as a forced abduction. The Rape of Helen by Francesco Primaticcio (c. 1530–1539, Bowes Museum) is representative of this tradition.

Francesco Primaticcio (April 30, 1504 – 1570) was an Italian Mannerist painter, architect and sculptor who spent most of his career in France. Born in Bologna, he trained under Giulio Romano in Mantua and became a pupil of Innocenzo da Imola, executing decorations at the Palazzo Te before securing a position in the court of Francis I of France in 1532.

He was one of the leading artists to work at the Chateau Fontainebleau. Following Rosso's death in 1540, Primaticcio took control of the artistic direction at Fontainebleau, furnishing the painters and stuccators of his team with designs. He made cartoons for tapestry-weavers and, like all 16th-century court artists, was called upon to design elaborate ephemeral decorations for masques and fêtes, which survive only in preparatory drawings and, sometimes, engravings. Francis I trusted his eye and sent him back to Italy on buying trips in 1540 and again in 1545.

In Rome, part of Primaticcio's commission was to take casts of the best Roman sculptures in the papal collections, some of which were cast in bronze to decorate the parterres at Fontainebleau. He retained his position as court painter to Francis' heirs, Henry II and Francis II. His masterpiece, the Salle d'Hercule at Fontainebleau, occupied him and his team from the 1530s to 1559.

Primaticcio's crowded Mannerist compositions and his long-legged canon of beauty influenced French art for the rest of the century.

Primaticcio turned to architecture towards the end of his life, his greatest work being the Valois Chapel at the Abbey of Saint-Denis, although this was not completed until after his death and was destroyed in 1719. More on Francesco Primaticcio

Antonio Molinari, 1655 - 1704
The Abduction of Helen, c. 1695–1704
Oil on canvas
131 x 173 cm
Northampton Museums & Art Gallery,  United Kingdom

Antonio Molinari, also known as il Caraccino, (21 January 1655 – 3 February 1704) was an Italian painter of the Baroque era in Venice. The son of a painter, Molinari was apprenticed to Antonio Zanchi in Venice. He was strongly influenced by the vigorous and athletic paintings of Neapolitan painters such as Luca Giordano. He typically painted tumultuous narratives of mythology and religion in large canvases. This would influence his pupil (1697–1703), Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, and his grand manner style. More on Antonio Molinari

File:Tintoretto Rape of Helen.jpg
Tintoretto (1518–1594)
The abduction of Helen (Il rapimento di Elena), circa 1578–1579
Oil on Canvas
186 x 307 cm
Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Jacopo Tintoretto follows Schiavone and Raimondi in his depiction of Helen being taken to a ship while fierce combat occurs on the shore, but distances himself from them by characterising the scene as a battle between Turks and Christians, drawing on the prolific images of this sort that followed the battle of Lepanto in 1571. In that sense, he portrays Helen as an allegory of Venice itself. More

Tintoretto (1518 – 1594) was an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso. His work is characterized by its muscular figures, dramatic gestures, and bold use of perspective in the Mannerist style, while maintaining color and light typical of the Venetian School. More on Tintoretto

Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista : The Rape of Helen:
Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista, 1682 - 1754
The Rape of Helen
oil on canvas
Musee Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, also called Giambattista Piazetta (born Feb. 13, 1682, Venice [Italy]—died April 28, 1754, Venice), painter, illustrator, and designer who was one of the outstanding Venetian artists of the 18th century. His art evolved from Italian Baroque traditions of the 17th century to a Rococo manner in his mature style.

Piazzetta began his career in the studio of his father, Giacomo, but soon abandoned the family profession and began to study painting under Antonio Molinari. In about 1703 he went to Bologna, where he worked in the studio of Giuseppi Maria Crespi. He was back in Venice by 1711 and continued to work there until his death.

Little is known of the dating of Piazzetta’s paintings, especially those of his youth. His “St. James Led to Martyrdom” (Venice) dates to 1717; at this period he was a powerful influence on the young Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who was to become the most famous Venetian painter of the 18th century. The “Ecstasy of St. Francis,” perhaps his finest religious work, dates from about 1732, and some three years later he was commissioned to execute an “Assumption” for the elector of Cologne. The celebrated “Fortune Teller” is dated 1740. 

In 1727 Piazzetta was elected a member of the Clementine Academy of Bologna, and, on the foundation of the Venetian Academy in 1750, he was made its first director and teacher of drawing from the nude. He was a very slow worker and in spite of his popularity was compelled to produce innumerable drawings for sale to support his large family. More on Giovanni Battista Piazzetta

Ferrarese School, 17th Century
The Rape Of Helen Of Troy
Oil on Canvas.
65 by 84 cm.; 25 1/2 by 33 in

Taken from Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid, the subject of this painting depicts the famous event which precipitated the Trojan War. Paris had travelled to Sparta in search of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the ancient world, who had been promised to him by Venus because he had chosen her as the fairest of the goddesses. Hosted by the unsuspecting king Menelaus, the prince abducts his wife while Menelaus is called away to Crete. Enraged, Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon later incite all the Greek princes to declare war on Troy. In this scene, Helen is being forcibly carried onto a ship by Paris while his companions struggle to keep the Greek soldiers at bay. More on this painting

The School of Ferrara was a group of painters which flourished in the Duchy of Ferrara during the Renaissance. Ferrara was ruled by the Este family, well known for its patronage of the arts. Patronage was extended with the ascent of Ercole d'Este I in 1470, and the family continued in power till Alfonso II, Ercole's great-grandson, died without an heir in 1597. The duchy was then occupied in succession by Papal and Austrian forces. The school evolved styles of painting that were appeared to blend influences from Mantua, Venice, Lombardy, Bologna, and Florence.

The ties to Bolognese School were particularly strong. Much of the local collections, like those of the Gonzaga family in Mantua, were dispersed with the end of the Este line in 1598. Especially in the late 15th century Ferrara was also a main centre of engraving in Italy. More on The School of Ferrara

Dio Chrysostom (a Greek orator, writer, philosopher and historian of the Roman Empire in the 1st century), gives a completely different account of the story: after Agamemnon had married Helen's sister, Klytaemnestra, Tyndareus sought Helen's hand for Menelaus on account of political reasons. However, Helen was sought by many suitors, who came from far and near, among them Paris who surpassed all the others and won the favor of Tyndareus and his sons. 

The Rape of Helen - Guido Reni -
Guido Reni (1575–1642)
The Rape of Helen,  between circa 1626 and circa 1629
Oil on canvas
Height: 253 cm (99.6 in). Width: 265 cm (104.3 in).
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

In Guido Reni's homonymous painting (1631, Louvre, Paris), however, Paris holds Helen by her wrist, and leave together for Troia.

Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style. Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Guido Reni was the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra de’ Pozzi. As a child of nine, he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. Soon after, he was joined in that studio by Albani and Domenichino. He may also have trained with a painter by the name of Ferrantini. When Reni was about twenty years old, the three Calvaert pupils migrated to the rising rival studio, named Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the "newly embarked", or progressives), led by Lodovico Carracci. They went on to form the nucleus of a prolific and successful school of Bolognese painters who followed Annibale Carracci to Rome. Like many other Bolognese painters, Reni's painting was thematic and eclectic in style. More on Guido Reni

HAMILTON, Gavin, (1723 - 1798)
The Abduction of Helen, 1784
Oil on canvas
306 x 367 cm
Museo di Roma, Rome, Italy

Gavin Hamilton,  (born 1723, Bertram Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scot.—died Jan. 4, 1798, Rome, Papal States [Italy]), Scottish-born painter of scenes from history, portraitist, archaeologist, and art dealer who was one of the pioneers of Neoclassicism.

From 1742 until his death he lived in Rome, except for a period from about 1752 to 1754 when he was in London, primarily painting portraits of the British aristocracy. He was part of Rome’s inner circle of antiquarians and Neoclassical artists. Perhaps his best-known works were his paintings of scenes from Homer’s Iliad, executed in the 1760s in a severely classical style. Hamilton also conducted important excavations of ancient archaeological sites near Rome and sold many of the discovered artifacts and art objects to British collectors. More on Gavin Hamilton,

Alessandro Turchi (Italian, 1578–1649)
The abduction of Helen
oil on marble
40.6 x 48.9 cm. (16 x 19.3 in.)

Alessandro Turchi (1578 – 22 January 1649) was an Italian painter of the early Baroque, born and active mainly in Verona, and moving late in life to Rome. He also went by the name Alessandro Veronese or the nickname L'Orbetto. Turchi initially trained with Felice Riccio (il Brusasorci) in Verona. By 1603, he was working as independent painter, and in 1606-1609, Turchi painted the organ shutters for the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona. When Brusasorci died in 1605, Turchi and his fellow painter Pasquale Ottino completed a series of their deceased master's canvases. In 1610, he completed an Assumption altarpiece for the church of San Luca of Verona. In 1612, the Veronese Guild of the Goldsmiths commissioned from Turchi an altarpiece, today lost, of the Madonna and Saints. On leaving the school of Riccio, he went to Venice, where he worked for a time under Carlo Cagliari.

By 1616, Turchi traveled to Rome and participated in the fresco decoration depicting the Gathering of Manna for the Sala Reggia of the Quirinal Palace, and painting a Christ, Magdalen, and Angels for cardinal Scipione Borghese. He painted some pictures in the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. In 1619, he sent an altarpiece of the 40 martyrs for the Chapel of the Innocents in the church of Santo Stefano, Verona...

His sister married Giacinto Gimignani. In 1623, Turchi married Lucia San Giuliano. In 1637, with the sponsorship of the cardinal Francesco Barberini, he became Principe or director of the Accademia di San Luca. In 1638, he joined the papal guild of artists, called the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi al Pantheon. He died in Rome. More on Alessandro Turchi

Thus he won her fairly and took her away to Troia, with the full consent of her natural protectors. Cypria narrate that in just three days Paris and Helen reached Troy. Homer narrates that during a brief stop-over in the small island of Kranai, according to Iliad, the two lovers consummated their passion. On the other hand, Cypria note that this happened the night before they left Sparta.

Beaumont, Claudio Francesco, 1694-1766
The embarkation of Helen of Troy
Oil on canvas
42.0 cm x 15.8 cm
Private collection

Cavaliere Claudio Francesco Beaumont (4 July 1694 – 21 June 1766) was an Italian artist, born in Turin. Beumont was born in Turin. After studying in his native city, he went to Rome, where he copied the works of Raphael, the Carracci, and Guido Reni. He appears to have had little respect for the Roman painters of his own time, except for Trevisani, whose manner he imitated in the vigor of his tints.

On his return to Turin, he was employed in decorating the royal palace, where he also painted in fresco, in the library, various symbolical subjects relative to the Royal Family of Sardinia; and in the other apartments he represented the Rape of Helen, and the Judgment of Paris. He painted for the church of Santa Croce, Turin a depiction of Descent from the Cross. His patron, the King of Sardinia, knighted him in the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus in 1736. More on Cavaliere Claudio Francesco Beaumont

Buchmalere iIllumination French, c. 1274
Four scenes from the legend of Paris: Priam sends Pâris to Greece; Pâris at sea to join Greece; Paris takes Helen in the temple of Venus; Pâris and Helene sail to Troy. 
Composed by Primat, a monk of Saint-Denis.
29.3 cm x 29.4 cm
I have no further description, at this time

Maarten van Heemskerck (1498–1574)
Panorama with the Abduction of Helen Amidst the Wonders of the Ancient World, c. 1535
oil on canvas
147.3 × 383.5 cm (58 × 151 in)
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Heemskerck painted this homage to ancient art in Rome, where he traveled to study antiquities as well as the work of contemporary masters such as Michelangelo (1475-1564). 16th- or 17th-century Europeans could call on this celebration of ancient ingenuity to validate their own. In 1535, when Heemskerck painted this panorama to complement Cardinal Ridolfo Pio's famous collection of antiquities, scholars were still disputing which of these monuments were the most marvelous. Heemskerck's interpretation of the narrative, the abduction of Helen, queen of the Greek city-state Sparta, by Paris, a prince of Troy in Asian Minor, an epic that stretches across the ancient world to Rome itself, was influenced by versions of the story that set events among the marvels of heroic achievements of the ancient world. This luminous panorama is one of the most famous Northern landscapes of the 1500s; its array of ancient marvels and evidence of antiquity's greatness provided a picture-puzzle for the viewer, challenging him to locate and identify the pieces. In Greek and Roman literature a rainbow was evidence that the messenger goddess Iris, identified by her multicolored mantle, was on her way to deliver a message. In this story, she alerted Helen's husband Menelaus who was away from home when the abduction took place. More on Maarten van Heemskerck

Maerten van Heemskerck or Marten Jacobsz Heemskerk van Veen (1 June 1498 – 1 October 1574) was a Dutch portrait and religious painter, who spent most of his career in Haarlem. He was a pupil of Jan van Scorel, and adopted his teacher's Italian-influenced style. He spent the years 1532–6 in Italy. He produced many designs for engravers, and is especially known for his depictions of the Wonders of the World. More on Maarten van Heemskerck

At least three Ancient Greek authors denied that Helen ever went to Troy; instead, they suggested, Helen stayed in Egypt during the duration of the Trojan War. In the version put forth by Euripides in his play Helen, Hera fashioned a likeness of Helen out of clouds at Zeus' request, Hermes took her to Egypt, and Helen never went to Troy, spending the entire war in Egypt. Eidolon is also present in Stesichorus' account, but not in Herodotus' rationalizing version of the myth.

Elbow Pierre François Delorme, (1783-1859)
Hector addressing Pâris, c. 1840
Musée de Picardie, Amiens, France

Hector admonishes Paris, who removes his wreath and reaches for his helmet. Behind them sits beautiful Helen.

Pierre Claude François Delorme, born 28 July 1783, Paris, and died in the same city 8 November 1859 Is a French painter. After spending several years in Rome and Italy, where he studied Raphael and Michelangelo, he became a pupil of Anne-Louis Girodet and works according to the canons of the classical tradition of the Empire.

He first exhibited at the 1819 Paris Salon with a historical painting titled Death of Abel, now in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier. Delorme participated in the exhibitions of the Salon until 1851, mainly with mythological paintings, religious and historical. More on Pierre Claude François Delorme

Herodotus adds weight to the "Egyptian" version of events by putting forward his own evidence—he traveled to Egypt and interviewed the priests of the temple at Memphis. According to these priests, Helen had arrived in Egypt shortly after leaving Sparta, because strong winds had blown Paris's ship off course. King Proteus of Egypt, appalled that Paris had seduced his host's wife and plundered his host's home in Sparta, disallowed Paris from taking Helen to Troy. Paris returned to Troy without a new bride, but the Greeks refused to believe that Helen was in Egypt and not within Troy's walls. Thus, Helen waited in Memphis for ten years, while the Greeks and the Trojans fought. Following the conclusion of the Trojan War, Menelaus sailed to Memphis, where Proteus reunited him with Helen. 

Gerard de Lairesse, 1641 - 1711
Helen Arriving in Troy, where She is Led by Paris to Priam’s Palace, c. 1685-90,
(Or Cleopatra and Antony Disembarking at Tarsus)
Musée du Louvre

Gerard or Gérard (de) Lairesse (11 September 1641 – June 1711) was a Dutch Golden Age painter and art theorist. His broad range of talent included music, poetry, and theatre. De Lairesse was influenced by the Perugian Cesare Ripa  and French classicist painters as Charles le Brun, Simon Vouet and authors as Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine. His importance grew in the period following the death of Rembrandt. His treatises on painting and drawing, Grondlegginge der teekenkonst (1701), based on geometry and Groot Schilderboek (1707), were highly influential on 18th-century painters. More on Gerard de Lairesse

Gustave Moreau, 1826 - 1898
Helen On The Walls Of Troy, c.1885
12" x 25.36"
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Helen, standing, silhouetted against a terrible phosphorus splashed and striped horizon of blood, wearing a gown encrusted with jewels like a shrine, holding in her hand, as in the queen of spades card games, a large flower;. eyes wide open, fixed in a cataleptic poses. At her feet lie clusters of corpses and arrows Her blonde beauty dominates the carnage, a malevolent deity that poisons without even being aware of it, at whatever she approachs or what she looks and touches. More on this painting

Gustave Moreau, (born April 6, 1826, Paris, France—died April 18, 1898, Paris), French Symbolist painter known for his erotic paintings of mythological and religious subjects.

The only influence that really affected Moreau’s development was that of his master, Théodore Chassériau (1819–56), an eclectic painter whose depictions of enigmatic sea goddesses deeply impressed his student. In the Salon of 1853 he exhibited Scene from the Song of Songs and the Death of Darius, both conspicuously under the influence of Chassériau.

Moreau’s Oedipus and the Sphinx (1864) and his The Apparition (Dance of Salome) (c. 1876) and Dance of Salome (c. 1876) show his work becoming increasingly concerned with exotic eroticism and violence, and his richly crowded canvases made greater use of dramatic lighting to heighten his brilliant, jewel-like colours. Moreau’s art has often been described as decadent. He made a number of technical experiments, including scraping his canvases; and his nonfigurative paintings, done in a loose manner with thick impasto, have led him to be called a herald of Abstract Expressionism.

Moreau succeeded Elie Delaunay as professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, and his teaching was highly popular. He was a very influential teacher of some of the artists of the Fauve movement, including Matisse and Rouault. At his death, Moreau left to the state his house and about 8,000 works, which now form the Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris. More on Gustave Moreau

When he discovered that his wife was missing, Menelaus called upon all the other suitors to fulfill their oaths, thus beginning the Trojan War. The Greek fleet gathered in Aulis, but the ships could not sail, because there was no wind.

File:Felice Torelli - The Sacrifice of Iphigenia - WGA23010.jpg
Felice Torelli, (1667–1748)
The Sacrifice of Iphigenia, first half of 18th century
oil on canvas
Height: 80 cm (31.5 in). Width: 98 cm (38.6 in)
Private collection

Felice Torelli (9 September 1667 – 11 June 1748) was an Italian painter of the Baroque style, active mainly in Bologna. He was born to a family of artists in Verona, including his brother, Giuseppe Torelli, a noted violinist and composer of concerti. Both his son, Stefano Torelli, and his wife, Lucia Casalini (1677–1762), were painters. His wife mainly painted portraits. Felice was initially apprenticed to Santi Prunati in Verona, then to Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole in Bologna. In 1710, Torelli was one of the founders of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna, and during his time there, Giuseppe Maria Crespi was a member. Torelli’s pupils at the academy included the two brothers Ubaldo Gandolfi and Gaetano Gandolfi; his nephew, Giovanni Giorgi; Mariano Collina (died 1780); and Antonio Magnoni.

He painted a Martyrdom of St. Maurelius for Ferrara Cathedral. He painted St Vincent in the act of curing a lunatic woman for the church of the Dominicans in Faenza. Other altarpieces were painted for churches in Rome, Turin, Milan, and other cities in Italy. More on Felice Torelli

Artemis was enraged by a sacrilegious act of the Greeks, and only the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter, Iphigenia, could appease her. In some versions, Iphigenia is sacrificed at Aulis, but in others, she is rescued by Artemis. In the version where she is saved, she goes to the Taurians and meets her brother Orestes.

Charles de La Fosse - Le sacrifice d'Iphigénie - Google Art Project.jpg
Charles de La Fosse, (1636–1716)
The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia, c 1680
oil on canvas
Height: 224 cm (88.2 in). Width: 212 cm (83.5 in).
Château de Versailles, France

Charles de La Fosse (or Lafosse) (June 16, 1636 – December 13, 1716), French painter, was born in Paris. He was one of the most noted and least servile pupils of Le Brun, under whose direction he shared in the chief of the great decorative works undertaken in the reign of Louis XIV. Leaving France in 1662, he spent two years in Rome and three in Venice. The influence of his prolonged studies of Veronese is evident in his Finding of Moses (Louvre), and in his Rape of Proserpine (Louvre), which he presented to the Royal Academy as his diploma picture in 1673. He was at once named assistant professor, and in 1674 the full responsibilities of the office devolved on him, but his engagements did not prevent his accepting in 1689 the invitation of Lord Montagu to decorate

He visited London twice, remaining on the second occasion—together with Rousseau and Monnoyer more than two years. William III vainly strove to detain him in England by the proposal that he should decorate Hampton Court, for Le Brun was dead, and Mansart pressed La Fosse to return to Paris to take in hand the cupola of Les Invalides. The decorations of Montagu House are destroyed, those of Versailles are restored, and the dome of the Invalides (engraved, Picart and Cochin) is now the only work existing which gives a full measure of his talent. During his latter years La Fosse executed many other important decorations in public buildings and private houses, notably in that of Crozat, under whose roof he died on 13 December 1716. The artis't works and conception played a key role in the French art history from shifting the classicism of the French style from the court of Louis XIV towards the lighter and more playful Rococo period's style. La Fosse's style prior to his emergence from the shadow of Le Brun remains a mystery, with very few sheets by him dating earlier than 1680. More on Charles de La Fosse

In Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, it is Menelaus who convinces Agamemnon to heed the seer Calchas's advice. After Agamemnon sends a message to Clytemnestra informing her of Iphigenia's supposed marriage, he immediately regrets his decision and tries to send another letter telling them not to come. Menelaus intercepts the letter and he and Agamemnon argue. Menelaus insists that it is Agamemnon's duty to do all he can to aid the Greeks.

Jacques-Louis David, (1748–1825)
The Anger of Achilles, c. 1819
Anger of Achilles during the sacrifice of Iphigenia
Oil on canvas
41 7/16 x 57 1/16 in. (105.3 x 145 cm) 
Kimbel Art Museum

Jacques-Louis David painted and exhibited The Anger of Achilles, which he prized highly as the culmination of his career-long efforts to recapture the perfection of ancient Greek art. The complex episode, which challenged David to render a spectrum of interacting emotions from stoic courage and calm, heroic resolve to grief and anger. As Iphigenia’s mother, Clytemnestra, looks on tearfully, Achilles angrily reaches for his sword. Agamemnon’s magnetic gaze and authoritative gesture appear to freeze Achilles’ outburst. Apparently dressed as a bride, the angelic-looking Iphigenia clutches her heart, oblivious to the display of male confrontation. Her mother’s reaction, composed of disappointment at Achilles’ inability to act as well as grief for her daughter, is apparently intended to mirror the mixed reactions that any spectator must feel as filial, spousal, and civic duties compete with one another. More on this painting

Jacques-Louis David (30 August 1748 – 29 December 1825) was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity, heightened feeling harmonizing with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime.

David later became an active supporter of the French Revolution and friend of Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794), and was effectively a dictator of the arts under the French Republic. Imprisoned after Robespierre's fall from power, he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release: that of Napoleon, The First Consul of France. At this time he developed his Empire style, notable for its use of warm Venetian colours. After Napoleon's fall from Imperial power and the Bourbon revival, David exiled himself to Brussels, then in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, where he remained until his death. David had a large number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century, especially academic Salon painting. More on Jacques-Louis David

Iphigenia and her mother Clytemnestra were brought to Aulis under the pretext of a marriage to Achilles, but soon discovered that the marriage was a ruse. In some versions of the story, Iphigenia remains unaware of her imminent sacrifice until the last moment, believing that she is led to the altar to be married.

File:Fresco Iphigeneia MAN Naples.jpg
Unknown artist
Iphigeneia carried to the sacrifice, 1st century AD
Naples National Archaeological Museum Napoli, Italy

Iphigeneia (centre), the seer Calchas (on the right), Agamemnon (on the left), Artemis appears with a hind which will be substituted to the young girl.

Clytemnestra, Iphigenia's mother and Helen's sister, begs her husband to reconsider his decision, calling Helen a "wicked woman". Clytemnestra (unsuccessfully) warns Agamemnon that sacrificing Iphigenia for Helen's sake is, "buying what we most detest with what we hold most dear". More on this painting

File:The Sacrifice of Iphigenia.jpg
François Perrier, (1594–1649)
The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia, between 1632 and 1633
Oil on canvas
Height: 213 cm (83.9 in). Width: 154 cm (60.6 in).
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, France

François Perrier (1590– 1650). Perrier was a French painter and etcher, born in Pontarlier. During the years 1620–1625, he resided in Rome, where he took for his model the practitioner of academic baroque classicism, Giovanni Lanfranco. On his return to France, following a brief stay at Lyon he settled in Paris in 1630, working in the classsicising circle of Simon Vouet In 1632–1634, he had for a pupil Charles Le Brun, destined to become the central figure of official French painting in the age of Louis XIV.

Perrier returned to Rome in 1635, remaining there for the next decade, which saw his decors for palazzo Peretti and the publication in Paris of his great repertory of images. In 1645, once again in Paris he painted the ceiling of the gallery of the Hôtel de La Vrillière, now the seat of the Banque de France and worked with Eustache Le Sueur on the cabinet de l’amour in the Hôtel Lambert. In 1648, he was one of the twelve founders of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. He died in Paris. More on François Perrier

FONTEBASSO, Francesco, 1707 - 1769
The Sacrifice of Iphigenia, c. 1749
Oil on canvas
46 x 59 cm
Private collection

Francesco Fontebasso (4 October 1707 – 31 May 1769) was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque or Rococo period of Venice. He first apprenticed with Sebastiano Ricci, but was strongly influenced by his contemporary, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. In 1761, Fontebasso visited Saint Petersburg and produced ceiling paintings and decorations for the Winter Palace. Fontebasso returned to Venice in 1768. He helped decorate a chapel in San Francesco della Vigna.

He died in Venice in 1769. He is represented in collections in e.g. Kadriorg Palace (part of the Art Museum of Estonia) in Tallinn, Estonia. More on Francesco Fontebasso

Before the opening of hostilities, the Greeks dispatched a delegation to the Trojans under Odysseus and Menelaus; they endeavored to persuade Priam (king of Troy) to hand Helen back without success.

File:Helen and Priam at the Scaen Gate.jpg
Richard Cook, (1784–1857)
Helen and Priam at the Scaen Gate, c. 1808
oil on canvas
29.3 x 24 cm.
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, United States

Richard Cook (1784–11 March 1857) was an English artist. He was born in London in 1784, and entered the schools of the Royal Academy in 1800. He was a constant contributor to the exhibitions from 1808 to 1822, during which time he painted several landscapes, scenes from The Lady of the Lake, and in 1817, having been elected an Associate in the preceding year, a more ambitious work, entitled Ceres, Disconsolate for the Loss of Proserpine. It is now in the collection of the Royal Academy.

In 1822 he became a Royal Academician, and almost from that time forward, and certainly for many years preceding his death, he seems to have abandoned painting, and ceased to contribute to the annual exhibitions of the Academy, his private fortune enabling him to live independently of his art. He died in London in 1857. More on Richard Cook

During the fall of Troy, Helen's role is ambiguous. Virgil's Aeneid gives an account of Helen's treacherous stance: when the Trojan Horse was admitted into the city, she feigned Bacchic rites, leading a chorus of Trojan women, and, holding a torch among them, she signaled to the Greeks from the city's central tower.

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo,  (1727–1804)
The Building of the Trojan Horse , c. 1760
Oil on Canvas
National Gallery, London.

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo,  (1727–1804)
The Procession of the Trojan Horse into Troy, c. 1760
Oil on Canvas
National Gallery, London.

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (August 30, 1727 – March 3, 1804) was an Italian painter and printmaker in etching. He was the son of artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and elder brother of Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo.

Domenico was born in Venice, studied under his father, and by the age of 13 was the chief assistant to him. He was one of the many assistants, including Lorenzo, who transferred the designs of his father (executed in the 'oil sketch' invented by the same). By the age of 20, he was producing his own work for commissioners.

He assisted his father in Würzburg 1751-3, decorating the famous stairwell fresco, in Vicenza at the Villa Valmarana in 1757, and in Madrid at the palace of Charles III from 1762-70. More on Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

Jules Joseph Lefebvre, (1834–1912)
The Death of Priamos, c. 1861
Oil on canvas
Height: 114 cm (44.9 in). Width: 146 cm (57.5 in).
École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts

Jules Joseph Lefebvre (14 March 1834 – 24 February 1912) was a French figure painter, educator and theorist. Lefebvre was born in Tournan-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne. He entered the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1852 and was a pupil of Léon Cogniet.

He won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1861. Between 1855 and 1898, he exhibited 72 portraits in the Paris Salon. In 1891, he became a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts.

He was professor at the Académie Julian in Paris. Lefebvre is mainly remembred as an excellent and sympathetic teacher by his 1500 or more pupils. Among his famous students were Fernand Khnopff, Kenyon Cox, Félix Vallotton, Ernst Friedrich von Liphart, Georges Rochegrosse, the Scottish-born landscape painter William Hart, Walter Lofthouse Dean, and Edmund C. Tarbell, who became an American Impressionist painter.

Many of his paintings are single figures of beautiful women. Among his best portraits were those of M. L. Reynaud and the Prince Imperial (1874).[3]

Lefebvre died in Paris on 24 February 1912. More on Jules Joseph Lefebvre

In Odyssey, however, Homer narrates a different story: Helen circled the Horse three times, and she imitated the voices of the Greek women left behind at home—she thus tortured the men inside (including Odysseus and Menelaus) with the memory of their loved ones, and brought them to the brink of destruction

Homer paints a poignant, lonely picture of Helen in Troy. She is filled with self-distaste and regret for what she has caused; by the end of the war, the Trojans have come to hate her. When Hector dies, she is the third mourner at his funeral, and she says that, of all the Trojans, Hector and Priam alone were always kind to her.

Helen's portraits in Troy seem to contradict each other. From one side, we read about the treacherous Helen who simulated Bacchic rites and rejoiced over the carnage of Trojans. On the other hand, there is another Helen, lonely and helpless; desperate to find sanctuary, while Troy is on fire. Stesichorus narrates that both Greeks and Trojans gathered to stone her to death. When Menelaus finally found her, he raised his sword to kill her. 

Etruscan art
Helen and Menelaus, c. 4 Century BC
Bronze Mirror
19.7 cm x 28.4 cm
Townley Collection, British Museum, London, United Kingdom

Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta (especially life-size on sarcophagi or temples), wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced. More on Etruscan art

He had demanded that only he should slay his unfaithful wife; but, when he was ready to do so, she dropped her robe from her shoulders, and the sight of her beauty caused him to let the sword drop from his hand.

Helen returned to Sparta and lived for a time with Menelaus, where she was encountered by Telemachus in The Odyssey. According to another version, used by Euripides in his play Orestes, Helen had long ago left the mortal world by then, having been taken up to Olympus almost immediately after Menelaus' return.

From Antiquity, depicting Helen would be a remarkable challenge. The story of Zeuxis deals with this exact question: how would an artist immortalize ideal beauty? He eventually selected the best features from five virgins.

François-André Vincent, (1746–1816)
According to Cicero, Zeuxis was commissioned to produce a picture of Helen of Troy for the temple of Hera at Agrigendum in Sicily, c. 1789
Louvre Museum

François-André Vincent (30 December 1746 – 4 August 1816) was a French neoclassical painter. He was the son of the miniaturist François-Elie Vincent and was a pupil of École Royale des Éleves Protégés. From 1771 to 1775 he studied at the Académie de France. He travelled to Rome, where he won the Prix de Rome in 1768,  where he painted numerous portraits, inspired by Jean-Honoré Fragonard's style, who also was visiting Rome and Naples in the same time. He was also inspired by the Classical antiquity and the Italian renaissance masters like Raphael.

In 1790, Vincent was appointed master of drawings to Louis XVI of France, and in 1792 he became a professor at the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in Paris. In 1800, he married the painter Adélaïde Labille-Guiard.

He was one of the founder members of the Académie des beaux-arts — part of the Institut de France and the successor to the Académie royale — in 1795. Towards the end of his life he painted less due to ill health, but he continued to receive official honours. More on François-André Vincent

Rare original vintage Russian Avant Garde movie poster for Helen of Troy
c. 1925
Private collection

Rare original vintage Russian Avant Garde cinema poster for a German film Helen also known as Helen of Troy. Produced by Bavaria Film, Munchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka), starring Edy Darclea, Albert Steinruck and Vladimir Gajdarov. Excellent condition, bright bold colours, repaired tears on left margin. 

The Private Life of Helen of Troy, 1948

Stanley Baker, Rossana Podestà, Brigitte Bardot, Jacques Sernas, Cedric Hardwicke


Re-imagined poster for this 2003 tv mini-series. Stars Sienna Guillory, Matthew Marsden, Rufus Sewell and John Rhys-Davies. 2003


The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, 2005

Helen of Troy 2009

Matthias Gerung or Gerou (um 1500 - 68/70)
Cesare da Sesto, (1477–1523)
Odorico Politi, Italian, 1785-1846
Filippo Pelagio Palagi, 1775 - 1860
Francesco Primaticcio, (1505–1570)
Hans von Aachen,  (1552–1615)
Joachim Wtewael, (1566 - 1638) 
Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
Sandro Botticelli, (1445–1510)
Henri-Pierre Picou, (1824–1895)
Paul Cézanne, (1839–1906)
Anselm Feuerbach, (1829–1880)
Max Klinger, (1857–1920)
Enrique Simonet, (1866–1927)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)
Gavin Hamilton, (1723–1798)
Angelica Kauffman, (1741–1807)
Luca Giordano, (Italian, 1634–1705)
Johann Georg Platzer, (1704–1761)
Francesco Primaticcio, (1505–1570)
Antonio Molinari, 1655 - 1704
Tintoretto, (1518–1594)
Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista, 1682 - 1754
Guido Reni (1575–1642)
Alessandro Turchi (Italian, 1578–1649)
Beaumont, Claudio Francesco, 1694-1766
Maarten van Heemskerck, (1498–1574)
Elbow Pierre François Delorme, (1783-1859)
Gerard de Lairesse, 1641 - 1711
Gustave Moreau, 1826 - 1898
Felice Torelli, (1667–1748)
Charles de La Fosse, (1636–1716)
Jacques-Louis David, (1748–1825)
François Perrier, (1594–1649)
Francesco Fontebasso, 1707 - 1769
Richard Cook, (1784–1857)
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo,  (1727–1804)
Jules Joseph Lefebvre, (1834–1912)
François-André Vincent, (1746–1816)

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