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The Judgment of Paris

On view

The Judgment of Paris

Artist: Bob Thompson (American, 1937 - 1966)

Date: 1964
Medium: Oil on canvas
Framed: 75 3/8 × 60 5/16 × 2 1/2in. (191.5 × 153.2 × 6.4cm)
Signed: Lower center: 'B. Thompson '64'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 97.11
Label Text
Paris was a shepherd in ancient mythology who was made to judge the most beautiful of three goddesses - Venus, Juno, and Minerva. He was bribed by all but chose Venus, who promised him the love of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. In claiming his prize, Paris abducted Helen and began the Trojan War, as Helen's husband sought to win her back.

The Judgment of Paris was one of the most popular painting subjects for European artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. Artist Bob Thompson studied these Old Masters carefully and then improvised, as a jazz musician would, on established compositions. Thompson used color very expressively, placing complementary hues such as blue and orange or red and green next to each other so that they vibrate visually.

Mary E. Murray
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

© Estate of Bob Thompson, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY