Alfred George Stevens (1817-1875)
'The Judgement of Paris'
Oil on canvas
This painting is a cartoon for the south panel of the ceiling in the dining room of Dorchester House, Park Lane, London. The house was owned at the time by Sir George Holford but was later demolished to make way for the hotel of the same name.
The scene depicts the Judgement of Paris and the beginning of the chain of events leading to the fall of Troy. According to mythology, the goddess of discord, Eris, threw a golden apple inscribed ‘to the fairest’ down to a wedding party attended by the gods, because she was angry at not being invited. The apple was given to the young Prince of Troy, Paris, to award to the most beautiful goddess. Steven’s cartoon shows him offering the golden apple to Aphrodite, the goddess of love.