Exuberant Grotesques: Renaissance Maiolica from the Fontana Workshop
September 15, 2009, through January 17, 2010
Dish, The Judgment of Paris
Urbino, c. 1565–70 probably the workshop of Orazio Fontana
The Frick Collection.
Gift of Dianne Dwyer Modestini in memory of Mario Modestini, 2008
The central scene depicts the Judgment of Paris, one of the most famous Greek myths. At the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, the uninvited Goddess of Discord arrived with a golden apple inscribed “for the fairest.” Three goddesses claimed the apple: Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. They asked Zeus to judge which of them was the fairest, but Zeus, reluctant to declare a winner himself, commanded Paris, son of Priam, king of Troy, to settle the case. The scene in the center of the dish represents the moment when Paris presents the golden apple to Aphrodite.
The dish is painted after an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi made around 1517–20, after a drawing by Raphael.