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Chinese porcelain tankard decorated in famille rose enamels with the pattern Judgement of Paris, Qianlong.

Stock Number: 4918

Large Chinese export porcelain tankard decorated in opaque enamels from the famille rose (fencai) palette with the pattern Judgement of Paris, c. 1770, Qianlong reign, Qing dynasty, h. 15 cm, 6 in; d. 10,5 cm, 4¼ in. 6-16104

Illustrated: Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, by A. Varela Santos, 018/2019, cat. 70. 

◆ The Judgement of Paris is a story from the Greek mythology that was very popular from the 6th century BC when it was used to decorate pottery vases and later in Rome. This story enjoyed a revival in Europe’s Renaissance being used as an excuse to paint naked figures.

Sandro Botticelli (1485-1488) painted this pattern but with clothed figures and Peter Paul Rubens has a large oil at the National Gallery in London, dated c. 1636.

As the story goes Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited by Zeus to the banquet to celebrate the marriage of Peleus with Thetis, parents of Achilles, to avoid problems due to her character. Angered by the snub she crashes into the celebrations and offered a golden apple from the garden of Hesperides as a prize for the most beautiful woman present. 

The goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite claimed the prize asking Zeus to choose one of them. Unwilling to favor any claim he delegated the task to the mortal Paris, known for his fairness of judgment. Escorted by Hermes the candidates bathed in the spring of Ida and were taken to the presence of Paris on mount Ida. Unable to decide the three beauties stripped naked and tried to bribe him. Hera offered him the kingdom of Europe and Asia; Athena wisdom and skill in war; Aphrodite the most beautiful woman of the world who, at the time, was Helen of Sparta, wife of king Menelaus.

Paris accepted the gift and awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite.

The Greeks’ expedition to retrieve Helen from Troy is the mythological basis for the Trojan war.

中國外銷瓷粉彩“帕里斯的評判”圖大啤酒杯,約1770年,清乾隆,高15釐米,6英吋; 直徑10.5釐米,4¼英吋。


◆ “帕里斯的評判”出自希臘神話,在公元前6世紀,這個故事非常受歡迎,人們用它的場景來裝飾陶瓷瓶子,后來在羅馬也出現相同情況。在歐洲文藝復興期間,這個故事被人們當成用來畫裸體的藉口,又再次受到廣大歡迎。

Sandro Botticelli (1485-1488)也畫過這種紋飾,但裡面的人物都穿著衣服。倫敦國家博物館里藏Peter Paul Rubbens在1636年畫的相似題材的大油畫。