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The Judgment of Paris

Artist:
Alessandro Allori (Italian, Florence 1535–1607 Florence)
Date:
1583
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, over black chalk, on blue paper
Dimensions:
14-7/16 x 18-11/16 in. (36.6 x 47.4 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1963
Accession Number:
63.96
Not on view
On his father's death in 1540, the young Alessandro Allori was adopted by Bronzino (1503-1572), becoming his pupil and a significant disseminator of his elegant Mannerist vocabulary. This delicately finished large composition, complete in all details, served as a modello (demonstration drawing) for one of four tapestry cartoons representing the story of Paris and the Golden Apple of Discord, that were delivered to the Florentine weaver Benedetto Squilli on March 30, 1583. The tapestries were probably intended for the Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano, and were finished by June 4 of the same year. Allori's drawing technique and medium here closely resemble those in Bronzino's studies for tapestry cartoons on the life of Joseph (1549-1553). Here, Paris is seated at right holding a large apple in his left hand, while the striding, nearly nude Mercury at center turns to present the three goddesses at left -- Venus, Juno, and Minerva -- who are about to shed their clothing for the contest. Displayed at upper left are the attributes that identify the three goddesses below: the owls of Minerva, the peacocks of Juno, and the swan-drawn chariot of Venus.
Inscription: Illegible annotation in black chalk on verso of mount: D Le...1680/ x 1737...[?]. Annotated in pen and violet ink in an old hand: No 21
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings from New York Collections I: The Italian Renaissance," November 8, 1965–January 9, 1966.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 16, 1983–April 17, 1983.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 9, 2006–April 6, 2006.

Igino Benvenuto Supino I ricordi di Alessandro Allori. Florence, 1908, p. 19 (mentions cartoons for the history of Paris).

Sir Anthony Blunt "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions." The Burlington Magazine. vol. 55, London, June 1963, p. 288.

Peter Claas Drawings of Five Centuries. London, 1963, no. 1.

Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. I: The Italian Renaissance. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965, p. 76, no. 137.

Detlef Heikamp "La manufacture de tapisserie des Medicis." in: L'Oeil. Paris, August-September, 1968, p. 28.

Detlef Heikamp "Die Arazzeria Medicea im 16. Jahrhundert: Neue Studien" in: Münchner Jahrbuch der Bildenden Kunst. vol. 20, München, 1969, pp. 59, 60, pl. 42, ill.

Catherine Monbeig Goguel "Review of Disegni di Alessandro Allori edited by Simona Lecchini Giovanni." Revue de l'art. no. 14, 1971, p. 113.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, pp. 19-21, no. 4, ill.

Simona Lecchini Giovannoni Alessandro Allori. 1991, pp. 261-62, no. 95, fig. 211.

Lucia Meoni Gli arazzi nei musei fiorentini. La manifattura da Cosimo I a Cosimo II (1545-1621). Florence, 1998, pp. 252, 254, repr.



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