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Mirror with the Judgment of Paris

Culture Etruscan
Title Mirror with the Judgment of Paris
Date 330–280 BCE
Medium Bronze
Dimensions Overall: 10 13/16 x 7 in. (27.5 x 17.9 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 74.23

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About this Work

The story of this divine beauty contest is borrowed from Greek mythology and related in Homer’s Iliad. Eris, the goddess of discord, throws an apple labeled “to the fairest” into a gathering of gods. Zeus gives Paris, a Trojan prince, the task of judging who among the goddesses deserves the apple. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all bribe Paris, but he chooses Aphrodite because of her promise to give him the most beautiful woman in the world. Since the beautiful woman was Helen, wife of the Greek king, Menelaus, this event triggered the Trojan War. Elaborate mirrors of this type, which were made by Etruscans and exported throughout the Mediterranean, were popular as symbols of luxury. Interestingly, Aphrodite, who is seated in the center, holds a mirror.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Mirror with the Judgment of Paris | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.