The Judgment of Paris (Primary Title)

François-Xavier Fabre, French, 1766 - 1837 (Artist)

ca. 1807-08
oil on canvas
Unframed: 47 × 66 in. (119.38 × 167.64 cm)
Framed: 60 1/2 × 79 in. (153.67 × 200.66 cm)
In this scene from ancient myth, Mercury, sent by Jupiter, asks the Trojan prince Paris to name the most beautiful among three goddesses—Minerva, Juno, and Venus. As bribes, Minerva offered Paris wisdom and Juno assured him wealth and power. The prince gave the prize to Venus, however, who had promised him the love of any woman he desired. Paris chose Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, a decision that led to the Trojan War.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Francois-Xavier Fabre, Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France, October 6, 2007 - January 20, 2008; Museo Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, France, March 11 - June 2, 2008

Spotlight Loan, Piedmont Arts Association, Martinsville, VA, June 1-July 13, 1987

Five Years of Collecting, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, March 25 - May 4, 1980

Degas, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, May 23 - July 9, 1978

Roanoke Fine Arts Center, Roanoke, VA, February 11 - March 12, 1978

Salon of 1808, no. 212, awarded Médaille d’Encouragement
Pellicer, Laure and Michel Hilaire. François-Xavier Fabre (1766-1837) de Florence à Montpellier. Paris: Somogy Éditions, 2008. (No. 149, p. 80; 313).

Pellicer, Laure. “Des beauties antiques d’un ordre superieur.” In Francois-Xavier: peintre et collectionneur. Dijon, 2000. (Pp. 40, 42, 51).

Pellicer, Laure. “Francois-Xavier Fabre in his Museum.” Apollo (January 1989). (Pp. 14-15).

Near, Pinkney. “European Paintings and Drawings: The Williams Collection and Fund,” Apollo CXXII, no. 286 (December 1985). (P. 450, color plate VII).

Near, Pinkney L. “Homage to the Master: Fabre’s ‘Judgment of Paris’.” Arts in Virginia XXI, no. 1 (Fall 1980): pp. 28-39. (P. 28).

Detroit Institute of Fine Arts Bulletin, No. 3-4, 1975, pp. 122-123.

Bordes, Philippe. “Francois Xavier Fabre, ‘Peinture d’Histoire’.” Burlington Magazine 117 (February/March 1975): 90-98, 115-163.

Pellicer, Laure. Francois Xavier Fabre, 1766-1837. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Sorbonne, 1975. (No. 113).

De David à Delacroix, catalogue, Paris, 1974-75, p. 408.

P. Bordes, “Girodet et Fabre, camarades d’atelier,” Revue de Louvre, 1974, no. 6, pp. 393-99.

Pellissier, Léon-Gabriel. Les Correspondants de peintre François-Xavier Fabre, 1808-1833. Paris: Nouvelle Revue Rétrospective, 1896. (Pp. 1-11, 121).

Landon, Charles P. Annales du Musée et de l’ecole modern de Beaux-Arts. Second edition. Paris, 1823-35. (Vol. 2, p. 29-30, illus. plate 20).

Explication des Ouvrages de Peintures Exposés dans le Salon du Musée Napoléon le 14 Octobre 1808, p. 33.
Commissioned by Louis-François Bertin [1766-1841], Paris, in 1808. [1] Private collection, France, until 1975. (Heim Gallery, Paris) by 1976; Purchased by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in December of 1976. [2]

[1] Also known as Bertin l’Ainé (Bertin the Elder), Louis-François Bertin was the editor of the Journal des Débats. A letter from Bertin to Fabre, dated September 4, 1808, describes the favorable reception of the painting in his home in Paris. The painting is believed to have been sold by Bertin sometime after 1813. Another letter dated April 13, 1813, from Bertin to Fabre, states that "The Judgment of Paris" was not included in the large sale of his effects in that year. See VMFA Curatorial file and Léon-Gabriel Pélissier, Les Correspondants de peintre François-Xavier Fabre, 1808-1833 (Paris: Nouvelle Revue Rétrospective, 1896), p. 1-11, 121.

[2] Accessioned December 13, 1976.

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