'The Judgement of Paris', Jakob Auer

'The Judgement of Paris', Jakob Auer

'The Judgement of Paris'
Jakob Auer (about 1645-1706)
Austria
About 1700
Elephant ivory
Museum no. A.79-1951

The figures in this scene of the Judgement of Paris are framed by two trees which form two arches. Paris on the left is proferring Venus the golden apple. Cupid is between them. Juno and Minerva are in the background in lower relief. Throughout the ages artists and craftsmen have made virtuoso carvings as a display of their skill and ingenuity. Most of these carvings were made for wealthy patrons and collectors, who delighted in the rarity of the material and quality of the carving. This ivory relief gives a classicising and elegant interprertation of the subject. The pale, fine surface of the ivory perfectly suggests the flesh of the elongated nudes. The composition may well be based on an engraving.