Maiolica  

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-The '''Judgement of Paris''' is a story from [[Greek mythology]], which was one of the events that led up to the [[Trojan War]] and (in slightly later versions of the story) to the foundation of [[Rome]]. The [[mytheme]] of the Judgement of Paris naturally offered artists the opportunity to portray three [[ideally lovely women]] in undress, as a sort of beauty contest, but the myth, at least since Euripides, rather concerns a choice among the gifts that each goddess embodies: a subtext of the bribery involved is [[Irony|ironic]], and a late ingredient.+'''Maiolica''' designates Italian [[tin-glazed pottery]] dating from the [[Renaissance]].
- +==See also==
-==In post-Classical art==+* [[Delftware]]
-:''[[post-Classical art]]''+* [[Faience]]
-The subject became popular in art from the late [[Middle Ages]] onwards, with the three goddesses usually shown nude, following the classical literary sources, although in ancient art it is only Venus who appears nude, and that not always. The opportunity for three female nudes was a large part of the attraction of the subject. It appeared in [[illuminated manuscript]]s and was popular in decorative art, including 15th century Italian inkstands and other works in [[maiolica]], and ''[[cassone|cassoni]]''. As a subject for easel paintings, it was more common in [[Northern Europe]], although [[Marcantonio Raimondi]]'s [[engraving]] of ca. 1515, probably based on a drawing by [[Raphael]], and using a composition derived from a Roman [[sarcophagus]], was a highly influential treatment, which made Paris's [[Phyrgian cap]] an attribute in most later versions. The subject was painted many times by [[Lucas Cranach the Elder]]. [[Rubens]] painted several compositions of the subject at different points in his career. Later artists painting the subject include [[Renoir]] and [[Salvador Dalí]].+* [[Francesco Xanto Avelli]]
-==Mythic narrative==+* [[Lusterware]]
-It is recounted that [[Zeus]] held a banquet in celebration of the [[wedding|marriage]] of [[Peleus]] and [[Thetis]] (parents of [[Achilles]]). However, [[Eris (mythology)|Eris]], goddess of discord, was uninvited. Angered by this snub, Eris arrived at the celebration, where she threw a [[golden apple]] (the Apple of Discord) into the proceedings, upon which was the inscription ''καλλίστῃ'' ("for the fairest one").+* [[Nicola da Urbino]]
- +* [[Talavera (pottery)|Talavera]], Mexican maiolica
-Three [[goddess]]es claimed the apple: [[Hera]], [[Athena]] and [[Aphrodite]]. They asked Zeus to judge which of them was fairest, and eventually Zeus, reluctant to favour any claim himself, declared that [[Paris (mythology)|Paris]], a [[Phrygia]]n 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.+* [[Tin-glazed pottery]]
- +* [[Victorian majolica]]
-Thus it happened that, with [[Hermes]] as their guide, all three of the candidates appeared to Paris on [[Mount Ida]], in the climactic moment that is the crux of the tale. After bathing in the spring of Ida, each attempted with her powers to bribe Paris; Hera offered to make him [[monarch|king]] of [[Europe]] and [[Asia]], Athena offered [[wisdom]] and skill in [[war]], and Aphrodite, who had the [[Charites]] and the [[Horae|Horai]] to enhance her charms with flowers and song (according to a fragment of the ''Cypria'' quoted by [[Athenagoras]]), offered the love of the world's most beautiful woman ([[Euripides]], ''Andromache'', l.284, ''Helena'' l. 676). This was [[Helen]] of [[Sparta]], wife of the Greek king [[Menelaus]]. Paris accepted Aphrodite's gift and awarded the apple to her, receiving Helen as well as the enmity of the Greeks and especially of Hera. The Greeks' expedition to retrieve Helen from Paris in [[Troy]] is the mythological basis of the [[War of Troy|Trojan War]]. +
- +
-According to tradition, "cow-eyed" Hera was indeed the most objectively beautiful. Hera was the Goddess of the marital order and of cuckolded wives, amongst other things. Hera was often portrayed as the shrewish, jealous wife of Zeus, who himself often escaped from her controlling ways by cheating on her with mortal and immortal women.+
- +
-Aphrodite was effortlessly sexual, both beautiful and charming; thus her ability to sway Paris and her position as Goddess of Love were more palatable to Paris. +
- +
-Athena's beauty is rarely commented upon in the myths, perhaps because Greeks held her up as an asexual being, being able to "overcome" her "womanly weaknesses" in order to become both wise and talented in war (both considered male domains by the Greeks). Her rage at losing makes her join the Greeks in the battle against Paris's Trojans, a key event in the turning point of the war.+
- +
-Seen purely as a story, such as is recounted in ''[[Bulfinch's Mythology]]'', the Judgement of Paris is simply an amoral episode in which Paris' skill for sound judgement (for which the gods approved him) is overcome by appeals to his lust; thus a lengthy and blood-soaked war revolves upon a series of apparently trivial episodes, each adding to the inertia that drives events to their inevitable and tragic conclusions.+
- +
-Alternatively, the narrative can be seen as a rationalized series of episodic causes and consequences that has been developed to embed within a human timeframe, and to explain, a moment of [[Epiphany (feeling)|epiphany]] that occurs in a suspended moment out of time that artists endeavor to recapture in an [[icon]] (''illustration''): a blissfully fortunate mortal is confronted by a trinity of goddesses and a transcendent gift, the "apple", is exchanged. The story appears to be the result of an interpretation of an archaic iconic image representing such an ecstatic moment, which logically must have preceded the narrative invented to explicate it. +
- +
-In the archaic prototypical stories antedating the Judgement of Paris, the gift is imparted by the deity, like the [[pomegranate]] that the Goddess offers on Minoan seal-impressions, and the mortal the recipient. As such, the classic telling of the Judgement of Paris is an example of [[mythic inversion]], in which the apple becomes ''his'' to award. +
- +
-The [[mytheme]] of the Judgement of Paris naturally offered artists the opportunity to portray three ideally lovely women in undress, as a sort of beauty contest, but the myth, at least since Euripides, rather concerns a choice among the gifts that each goddess embodies: a subtext of the bribery involved is [[Irony|ironic]], and a late ingredient.+
- +
-In each allusion to the Judgement of Paris or narrative account, an aspect of Paris' sojourn as a shepherd-exile that is never linked to the explication of the central moment is his connection with the nurturing nymph of Mount Ida, [[Oenone]].+
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Maiolica designates Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance.

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