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The Malmesbury Judgement of Paris: the Full Picture: Updated Research Report 1.


1. Raphael's 1512 'The Judgement of Paris'
Attributed to Raphael, The Judgement of Paris, Private Collection, U.K., 1512.

The recent announcement that the Malmesbury Judgement of Paris was painted by Raphael has, unsurprisingly, provoked comment. At the time of the last few posts on the subject, AHT was not in possession of the full research picture and had tried to summarise the section on the painting in Graeme Cameron’s The Secrets of Leonardo da Vinci Vol 1, which is the tip of a very large attribution iceberg. However, that has now been remedied, and it is intended to present most of that information on this blog in a series of four posts, subdivided as follows:

1. Critical Fortune, Provenance, Documentation and Venetian Attributions.

2. Raphael’s Roman/Venetian Nexus and the New Scholarship.

3. Stylistic and Visual Analysis of Sources and Influences.

4. Technical Report on Materials, Pigments, Supports etc.

The first two sections are thematically broad in order to situate the attribution in its art history and scholarly contexts; the final two sections zoom in to focus on the picture itself. AHT has striven to present the information as accurately as possible, but any mistakes are the fault of yours truly, not the authors of the Malmesbury report. Thanks to Graeme Cameron for sending me a copy of his research summary on the painting, as well as the technical findings- which is his speciality; also, thanks to Norman Cameron for his sterling work in the archives, tracking down articles and sources, as well as answering my questions. Thanks also to K. Bender for sharing his quantative research on Venus in art, including of course the subject of the Judgement of Paris.

Section 1. Critical Fortune, Provenance. Documentation, Venetian Attributions.


Critical Fortune and Provenance. (verbatim from GC’s research summary)

It is noted at the outset the incredulity and scepticism which the attribution might initially create, however the new evidence discovered and its past impeccable credentials attest to the pre eminence of the ex Lord Malmesbury’s, The Judgement of Paris as a very important masterwork. It has since 1648 (Carlo Ridolfi’s citing), but more particularly between 1854 and 1929, been highly esteemed, exhibited and published as a “beautiful” painting “of great value” by some of the world’s greatest connoisseur art historians and scholars, who viewed the painting, namely Gustave Waagen, J.David.Passavant, Sir Charles Eastlake and later Sir Martin Conway, as an original painting by the hand of Giorgione from Venice Circa 1507-10

Paul Joannides’s observations regarding such experts in recent insightful articles on Michelangelo Drawings and the Apollo article on (Pouncey’s) Connoisseurship are also noted. Their expertise hallmarks the painting as a very significant “Masterpiece” composition. The primary matter never properly resolved has been the painting’s true authorship, a not uncommon situation in other now accepted Raphael paintings, e.g., La Fornarina, Pope Julius II,, Bindo Altoviti, and Lorenzo Medici, all earlier greatly acclaimed as in this case, then later misattributed and erroneously downgraded as inferior works, only to be later reinstated.

Likewise, recent 20thC scholarship has unjustifiably overlooked the Malmesbury original and ignored this landmark interpretation of The Judgement of Paris subject. Various fine versions and copies of it exist, attesting to its importance, and its neglect since Conway’s 1927 publication was due solely to its rejection as not being the work of Giorgione. Yet no further consideration was subsequently given to its origins, including any alternative contemporary master’s authorship of what prima facie constitutes a unique high Renaissance concept and stylistic development of The Judgement of Paris legend. It is entirely understandable why earlier scholars and connoisseurs assigned this work to Giorgione, as the painting possesses a standard of excellence equal to his productions and is profoundly influenced by him, and also probably by Titian and Sebastiano, in its colour, nudity and Arcadian setting, and dates from the early second decade of the 16thC. at 1512.

Below is presented in list form- in chronological order- the opinions of leading connoisseurs, art historians and curators on the authorship of the Malmesbury Judgement of Paris.

CARLO RIDOLFI – 1648 Chronicle, “Le Maraviglie dell Arte” Venice – as Giorgione

GUSTAVE WAAGEN – 1854 U.K. Survey Treasures of Art in Great Britain Vol 1 pp 416, as Giorgione

GUSTAVE WAAGEN – 1876 ex Director Berlin Gemaldegalerie – Attestation Letter as Giorgione.

JOHANN DAVID PASSAVANT – 1876 Curator Berlin Gemaldegalerie, and author of monograph on Raphael -Attestation Letter as Giorgione

Sir CHARLES EASTLAKE – 1876 Artist/Director National Gallery London – Attestation Letter as Giorgione

BERNARD BERENSON – 1901 Disparaged as a Copy of the Chiavari Copy – Review 1894 New Gallery Exhibition. (GC notes: this opinion can prima facie be demonstrated untenable by the recent technical evidence, (to be presented in part 4 of this research report). Berenson’s remarks were as follows. ”Lord Malmesbury’s “Judgement of Paris” (No.29) is a wretched copy after a picture attributed to Giorgione, but probably by Polidoro Lanzani, in the Palazzo Albuzio at Venice.” “Venetian Painting, chiefly before Titian” in The Study and Criticism of Italian Art Vol. 1, 1903, 137. Berenson’s hatchet job can be countered by the followings facts: 1) four copies of this painting exist attesting to its importance and quality; 2) the substantial exhibition history of the painting proves the prime quality of the painting, particularly the R.A. 1912 and 1929 exhibitions, which was Britain’s foremost art institution. Questions of attribution aside for the moment, detractors of the quality of the picture, from Berenson onwards, have to explain why institutional imprimatura, including the various letters of attestation, were placed on this painting.

COOK – 1904 Copy of an original by Giorgione, (Ridolfi 1648), as Bolognese 17thC

Sir MARTIN CONWAY – 1927 ex Slade Professor of Art Giorgione Catalogue London – as Giorgione

ROGER FRY – 1927 – The Burlington Magazine – Review of Sir Martin Conway’s Giorgione Catalogue – as not by Giorgione, but a copyist, (a pasitiche). .

Although this list of opinions by scholars seems to weight the attribution towards Giorgione, it should be noted that there has been a wide degree of variation, verging on confusion, amongst scholars about the authorship of the painting. This secondary list should illustrate this:

GRONAU – 1904. Maintained that the Larpent version of the J of Paris was after a conception of Campagnola (For Campagnola’s probable connection with the Malmesbury Judgement, see below)

CROWE & CAVALCASELLE – 1908 Bolognese Picture in the style of Mola, (confused Provenances)

COLETTI – c. 1920 Agreed with the traditional view of the work and subject being by Giorgione.

VENTURI – 1926- A late imitator of Giorgione (which was strangely Prophetic)

RICHTER – 1937- Proposed a 16thC Venetian artist

MORASSI – 1942 Believed the subject to be after Titian

BERENSON – 1957 – After a lost Giorgione or more probably Titian (Chiavari Copy)

ANDERSON–1987 This concept of the Subject and its Copies and Versions– Omitted from Reference

LUCCO – 1995 This concept of the Subject and its Copies and Versions – Omitted from Reference

HEALEY – 1997 – After a lost Giorgione (17thC Dresden version – Destroyed WW2-see information on copies below). Omitted reference to Malmesbury original, dealing only with the Copies & Versions.(Healey did not actually attribute but acknowledged the JP subject as traditionally given to Giorgione and proposed that the (simplified) Dresden version was in her view the closest to a lost original).

PIGNATTI – 1999 – A variant of Giorgione (Chiavari Copy)

JOANNIDES- 2004-10 A composition after a lost painting by Titian- see below. (Joannides first presented these ideas in two public lectures: one in 2004 accompanying the Titian exhibition at the Prado; one in 2006, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in a series of lectures with the exhibition devoted to Bellini, Titian and Giorgione.

Copies and Variants (for viewing convenience open this link in a separate window)

This section is directly taken from Graeme Cameron’s research summary.

1.“The Judgment of Paris” ex Chiavari/Lanfranchi, Albuzio Colls. Venice, Uffizi Gall. 60 x74

This rendition is the closest in composition to the Earl of Malmesbury’s prototype of the copies. It is presently attributed as a 17th Century copy after a lost work either by” Titian” or “Giorgione”, being painted by a “Later 17thC follower” of either, Although almost identical to the Malmesbury original, it manifests a more “tense” atmosphere as seen in the expressions of the faces of the participants, who portray concerned looks and unsmiling dispositions: very different physiognomies to those of the Malmesbury work. Accordingly, this research indicates, the painting was a direct copy of the Malmesbury prototype by Raphael, rather than after a lost work by Giorgione or Titian. The artist must have had access to the Malmesbury original, either whilst at “Casa Leoni”, possibly as early as the late 16th.C or its 17thC locale, to have based his copy so completely upon it. The recorded provenance of the Uffizi’s painting is limited to the 19thC, having passed through several Venetian Collections, (Chiavari, Lanfranchi and Albuzio). It remains a loosely attributed composition within the Uffizi Gallery’s Florence inventory and is understood to be unexhibited.

2. “The Judgment of Paris” ex Gemaldegalerie, Dresden, Destroyed during WW2, 52 x 67cm

This version was destroyed in WW2. Probably by a 17thC artist, it shares direct links and is clearly based on either the ex Malmesbury painting, or the Uffizi copy, but is much abbreviated. Many of the features seen in the two former paintings are here either completely deleted or very cursorily presented. The layout has been much modified, as have some of the figures, the main tree, and background, and Mercury is absent. The terse expressions and physiognomic types more closely match those of the “Uffizi” version, which suggests that it probably provided the model for this later work. The substantial difference with this Dresden version in addition to its simplification is that the artist has enlarged the central participants of the event into a flat, magnified focus group, losing all the wider spatial transitions of the landscape from middle ground to distant background that is otherwise evident in each of the former works. Moreover, even Paris is shown in a very’ flat’ profile rather than three quarter turned, as in the previous compositions and all the faces appear quite naively portrayed. This variant was formerly attributed to a “Later 17thC Follower of Giorgione or Titian”, with the artist possibly being “Flemish”.

3. “The Judgment of Paris” ex Larpent Coll., Oslo – State Mus. of Art, Copenhagen 61.5 x 92

This and the following version (No 4) present a different approach to that of the three previous compositions Whilst the core elements appear directly derived from the Malmesbury prototype, it has added features and various changes to the characters and their dress. Mercury is absent, and there is an introduced Eros beside Aphrodite. Some foreground Armour is added and a much altered background is evident, when compared with the earlier Malmesbury and Uffizi compositions. These numerous additions further demonstrate the paucity of the previous Dresden work, (No.2). Once again the physiognomies also vary. The research findings suggest these divergences could represent a version of the Malmesbury painting by a close contemporary of its original creator, possibly a pupil, as is being further researched. Moreover, whilst the final (No.4) Gubbio version below also shares much common content to this composition, it appears probably a direct copy of this Larpent version, by a later 17thC artist This painting’s current designation, as with all of the versions, has remained loosely attributed as “after a lost work by Giorgione or Titian”, by an unknown artist. Its earlier provenance was unrecorded until later in the 19thC, when it came into the collection of one of Norway’s greatest collectors, Sophus Larpent (1835 – 1911). For decades Larpent pursued the case for the work as a “Giorgione”, unsuccessfully. On his passing it was bequeathed to the State Museum at Copenhagen.

4. “The Judgment of Paris” attr. Giralamo Danesi after Giorgione –Gallery Ducale, Gubbio,

This is the final version of the group and shares direct links to the above Larpent composition. It is slightly magnified and of a lesser standard but otherwise very close in most respects and appears almost certainly to have been copied from it, rather than after a lost work by an earlier artist, such as Giorgione. It is attributed by the Gubbio Gallery to a minor 17thC Italian artist, Giralamo Danesi. Its size and provenance have not been provided, and additional information is still being sought. This would not alter its present status as being a later 17thC version, as presently catalogued by the Gallery. Inventory no. 277.

Documentary Proof.

In a response to the initial presentation of research on the painting, H Niyazi of Three Pipe Problem observed that it was perilous to make attributions without a document contemporary to the painting, a letter or contract. Whilst regrettably such a document doesn’t exist, it should be pointed out that many contracts for paintings in the renaissance have not survived, but research has nevertheless proceeded on the basis of both traditional and modern connoisseurship methods. When considering the problem of documentation, it may be judicious to follow Berenson:

“The document, therefore, cannot be taken as absolutely sufficient proof that a certain work of art answering to the description it gives is by the artist mentioned. The document helps to establish such a proof, but the proof is complete only when confirmed by connoisseurship- which we may roughly define at once as the comparison of works of art with a view to defining their reciprocal relationship.” Berenson, Study and Criticism of Italian Art, Vol. 2, 113).

Absence of a document is regrettable but should not be considered as invalidating attributions, including this one. As to a letter in which the painting is mentioned, we simply don’t have one unless we are willing to link the Malmesbury painting with Raphael’s comments on beauty and selection in his letter to Castiglione, although that is just a theory. Yet, before dismissing the attribution in the absence of documentary “proof”, we should try to understand the cultural context more, particularly the intersection of poetic tradition and painting in early cinquecento Rome. As Hubert Damisch pointed out, Raphael could have learnt about the Judgement of Paris story “only by hearsay having encountered it in spoken form, which was the way the Homeric poem was transmitted over a period of centuries.” (Damisch, The Judgement of Paris, 103). This is obviously a subject for further research, but in the interest of critical balance, it should be emphasized that Damisch had no proof to substantiate this. Yet as noted by Costanza Barbieri, Raphael was a courtier-artist at the centre of a humanist milieu and that environment full of “poets and literati” “was highly important in defining artistic and literary taste, including Raphael’s: “Raphael, Michelangelo and Sebastiano” in The Cambridge Companion to Raphael, 147. If Damisch is right, then surely the poets and literati of Leo X’s court would have conveyed the J of Paris to him in the “Homeric” manner. The links between poetic tradition and Raphael’s relationship with such men as Paolo Giovio, Andrea Navagero, Castiglione, Ludovico Ariosto and Angelo Colocci needs more research. One should also add the perceptive comment by Clark Hulse (cited in Barbieri: “Courtiership…as the intermediate identity-form of both poets and painters, the arena in which they are able to play out the Albertian script and display their visual and literary knowledge…The consummate artist of the new model is Raphael.” (Hulse, The Rule of Art: Literature and Painting in the Renaissance, 1990, 83-90).

Finally, the openly erotic, some might say voyeuristic,  nature of this picture and the biographical associations- assuming these are accepted- might play against the courtiership model; it may have been a private endeavour, outside the normal channels of commissions and contracts, or even written records. This might indicate that its existence was not known to the courtly poetic circle as it was a highly personal “pictorial message of love, set in the context of a mythical classical beauty contest.” (GC, Secrets of L da Vinci, Vol. 1, 64). In that case, we are dealing with something outside the structures of reception that Hulse and Damisch hypothesize.

The Giorgione Attribution.

Much of the problem in attributing the Malmesbury Judgement of Paris to Raphael is bound up with the inescapable fact that for centuries the painting has been given to Giorgione. Can it therefore be reasonably inferred that this could be a lost painting after a Giorgione original? The historical evidence doesn’t seem to support this view. Giorgione is not known to have painted a Judgement of Paris, although he may have executed subjects about other episodes in Paris’s life, such as the so-called Finding of Paris. The Giorgione scholar, Dr Francis P. DeStefano sees the title as a misidentification, and AHT has to confess that it has never heard of a “Finding of Paris” in renaissance art, so Frank’s interpretation seems just as, if not more, valid- see here.

David Teniers, (after a “lost Giorgione”), “The Finding of Paris”, 1655, Private Collection.

A painting of the discovery of the infant Paris is mentioned by Marcantonio Michiel in 1525, in the collection of Taddeo Contarini.

This painting is also included in the inventory of the collection of Archduke Wilhelm I; it was a little larger than Giorgione’s canonical Three Philosophers, also once owned by Prince Leopold. (Paul Joannides, “Titian, Giorgione and the Mysteries of Paris”, Artibus et historiae, no. 61 (XXI), 2010, 103-4). A small copy was made of the Leopold Birth of Paris by the Flemish artist David Teniers- a reproduction of it is shown here. A black and white reproduction of the Teniers copy- or a variant, as it was labelled Princes Gate Trust, Courtauld Institute- was reproduced as fig. 22 in The Genius of Venice 1500-1600, (eds) Jane Martineau and Charles Hope, (London, 1983), 47.

Berenson saw what Morelli thought to be the original of the “Birth/Finding of Paris” at Budapest, which he described in the following words:

“We need not stop long after the picture at Buda-Pesth, which Morelli identified as a fragment of Giorgione’s “Birth of Paris”, seen in 1525 by the Anonimo Morelliano in the house of Taddeo Contarini.” [And in a note, Berenson adds]: “The interesting question arises whether this fragment is part of the entire work which was in the collection of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of the Netherlands, or is independent of it. If independent, then there is a chance that the picture in the Archduke’s collection was the original, and that someday it may reappear. Of course, no decision can be made from the double translation of the picture, first into the forms of Teniers, and then into those of the engraver, which we find in the Theatrum Pictorum.” (Teniers’s paintings of paintings in the Archduke’s gallery). (“Certain Copies after Lost Originals by Giorgione” in The Study and Criticism of Italian Art, (1903, 75-6).Berenson’s biographer, Ernest Samuels, stated that Berenson translated the description of an engraving (by Théodorus von Kessel) of the picture to show that the Budapest painting was a copy of the lost painting. (Bernard Berenson: The Making of a Connoisseur, Harvard, 1979, 125).

According to Joannides, Sir Martin Conway, “published a pair of paintings in which the subjects of Paris’ “Finding” and Nurture were treated, the narrative divided into two (reproduced in Joannides, 2010, figs 7 and 8).Sir Martin believed both to be by Giorgione, and of course he authenticated the Malmesbury Judgement in 1927as a Giorgione, too. It should also be noted that Joannides connects these paintings, hypothesized as pendants of Conway’s with a highly damaged fragment by “an unidentified artist”at Princeton, which shows a baby on its own in a landscape. Though Joannides states this “has always been accepted as “The Exposure of Paris”, it hasn’t excited much interest amongst scholars. Joannides states that the quality of this fragment strikes him as better quality than the panels published by Conway (which he admits he hasn’t seen) and the painting lies “somewhere nearer Titian and Giorgione.” Clearly, there are iconographical issues that need unravelling here- Frank DeStefasno’s work is obviously a reference point.

Is The Judgement of Paris a “Venetian” subject?

For all Joannides’s deep knowledge of Venetian art and perceptive understanding of it, he found it hard to detect such a subject within Giorgione’s oeuvre; he also remarked that the subject of the Judgement of Paris was “largely absent from Venetian cinquecento painting.” Let’s assume for the present that the Malmesbury Judgement is after a lost Giorgione, what other painters in Venice, or the Veneto is he likely to have influenced? There is no Judgement of Paris in Titian’s oeuvre, unless we accept Joannides’s claim that the Malmesbury picture is actually after a lost original by Titian- see below for details. Crowe and Cavalcaselle mention a “Judgement of Paris” by Sebastiano in the collection of Charles I (C & C, Painting in Northern Italy, Vol. 1, 234, n. 3), though this has never to AHT’s knowledge been connected with the Malmesbury Judgement. I haven’t been able to consult any of the catalogues of Sebastiano exhibitions yet, but I’ll report if there sightings of this work. C & C also allude to a Judgement of Paris painted by Pordenone (1484-1539/2) “in the old palace of counts of Monaco”, alongside another mythological subjects like Diana and Actaeon, (C& C, Vol. 1, 164, n.3).

Attributed  to Andrea Medolla (“Schiavone”), The Judgement of Paris, whereabouts unknown, probably 1540s.

So, throughout their mammoth survey of painting in Venice and the Vento, only two mentions of the Judgement of Paris are to be found. However, a number of Venetian painters feature on the list of Judgement painters in K. Bender’s catalogue of Venus in Italian art. In the lists of versions that show “Paris to the left”, the type we’re dealing with here, there are painters from Venice, Bologna, Ferrara, Rome, Naples and others listed. Sebastiano does not appear, so it’s to be wondered if C & C misidentified a painter or subject here. As noted above, the two seminal connoisseurs misidentified the Malmesbury Judgement as the work of Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1664), from Bologna in the 1908 edition of their Italian Painting. One of Three Pipe Problems’s correspondents Edward Goldberg suggested working back from “the Venetian seventeenth-century.”  If we did that we might end up with a picture like the one shown above:, by Andrea Meldolla, better known as Schiavone (1510/25-1563). Schiavone hailed from Dalmatia originally, but is known to have painted mythologies after Titian and, more significantly, lost paintings by Giorgione. In the catalogue of The Genius of Venice, R.A., no. 90), we have a Schiavone Diana and Callisto, thought to be based on another lost composition by Giorgione; but which might have had some connection with Titian’s much more famous work of the same name in Edinburgh. Not much is known about Schiavone’s training, but he was probably in Venice in the late 1530s, and he was influenced by Giorgione and Titian. The Judgement of Paris shown above appeared on the art market recently and was probably painted in the 1540s, although K Bender notes a J of Paris attributed to Schiavone in Vienna, dating from the 1550s. This differs from the one reproduced above: the Vienna Schiavone has cupids, not just the goddesses alone and Paris, though in both Paris appears on the left, his traditional location.

The landscape in the reproduced painting above shows study of Titian, perhaps even in his workshop; but the goddesses show the unmistakeable influence of Parmigianino. Due to the stylistic dissimilarity, it’s unlikely that Schiavone’s Judgment evolved from the Malmesbury Judgement, whether it has a connection with Giorgione or not. We could work forwards to say, Mola, virtually ignored in seicento studies. Yet AHT was not able to find a Judgement of Paris by him. He certainly modelled himself on Venetian art, but qualified it by his study of Roman classicism, Pietro da Cortona, and even  Poussin whose work has been mis-attributed to him on occasion! Turning back to Schiavone, who doesn’t stylistically seem part of this continuum because of his obstinate mannerist deposits, what’s left? We could move geographically outwards from Venice and look for traces of the Giorgionesque model in the Veneto, look for painters who may have emulated this “lost” Giorgione. AHT hasn’t gone through K. Bender’s detailed catalogue, but I’d be surprised if there were many examples of Judgments from the Veneto. To repeat, Crowe and Cavalcaselle mention a Pordenone, a painter from Ferrara with Venetian links, not on K. Bender’s list unless my eye has slipped. Finally, there is Paul Veronese, whose stature and the fact that versions of the Judgement by him are mentioned in early sources, might suggest extant versions- but they don’t appear to have survived. (Joannides, 2010, 107). Although this is just a preliminary survey, it looks like the Judgement of Paris began to appear more in Venetian art in the mid- fifteenth-century, but in Giorgione’s era, the early cinquecento in Venice, it is rare. Of course, versions of it are missing so it is difficult to construct an accurate overview of its development in Venice and the Veneto.

The Titian Attribution.

Domenico Campagnola, The Judgement of Paris, Paris, Louvre, drawing, date unknown

In his article, Joannides has re-baptized the Malmesbury Judgement in the name of Titian. He is therefore agreeing with Richter, Morassi and Pignatti (see above) that the lost original Judgement of Paris was by Titian, not Giorgione. What is the reason for this? This introduces the contribution of another artist, the engraver Domenico Campagnola (1500-1552). Joannides says that two figures from the lost Judgement of Paris were copied by Campagnola onto a sheet in Frankfurt, and it “inspired his version of the Judgement of Paris in the Louvre.” (Joannides, 2010, 109). Although Campagnola didn’t copy motifs from Giorgione, he “was deeply affected by Titian” (Joannides, 2010, 109) which was another reason he thought Richter, Morassi and Pignatti favoured an attribution to Titian for the “lost original” by that painter.

16shephe polyphem
Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, re-titled “Paris and Oenone” by Joannides, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna,1575-6. Sebastiano del Piombo, Polyphemous, Rome, Villa Farnesina, 1512.

Joannides notes that the unidentified nymph in the so-called late Nymph and Shepherd is actually taken from an engraving by Domenico, which to complicate things further was after a design by Sebastiano del Piombo, (Philip Pouncey was the first to note the Sebastiano connection). Muddying the waters even further, the figure of the shepherd in the late Titian- which Joannides identifies (after Panofsky) as Paris- is believed to derive from Sebastiano’s figure of Polyphemous in the Villa Farnesina, Rome, done many years earlier. George Goldner advanced this theory ( “A Source for Titian’s Nymph and Shepherd”, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 116, No. 856 (Jul., 1974),  392-395). Panofsky first suggested that the late, perhaps Titian’s last work, represented the tragic story of Paris and Oenone (Problems in Titian: Mainly Iconographic, 1969, 169-170.

2. Section - The Goddesses with Fornarina - Raphael's 1512 The Judgement of Paris tumblr_l1px0o9aix1qa4s0qo1_500
Malmesbury Judgement, Minerva, Venus and Juno, 1512. Marcantoni Raimondi, The Temptation of Adam (after Raphael), engraving, 1510-11.

With the Polyphemous link, we are looking towards Rome, but we can actually place this analysis within the Roman context because there is a stylistic link between the Malmesbury Judgement and Raphael’s productions in the Eternal City. Joannides is the first to state that the middle woman in the Malmesbury Judgement- Venus- matches the figure of Eve in an engraving of Temptation of Adam by the Venetian artist, Marcantonio Raimondi (1470/80-1534) after Raphael’s design of around 1508 for a fresco in the Stanza della Segnatura. Joannides dates the engraving of the Temptation to 1511, though other Raphael scholars have pushed it into 1512-14 period.(Béguin et al, Raphael dans les collections françaises, 1984, 330). Raimondi probably arrived in Rome about late 1510, and according to Joannides, this was one of the first prints that he did there. As a compiler of an important catalogue of Raphael’s drawings,  Joannides notes a pen drawing by Raphael of the Adam, (Ashmoleon,1506-9, verso of Death of Meleager) with the figure of Eve in lead point only; my guess is that the distinctive, curves of Eve evolve from studies of Leonardo’s Leda- but we will have to return to this problem (Joannides, no. 132).

Marcantonio Raimondi (after Raphael), The Judgement of Paris, 1514-18, engraving.

Once he had established himself in Rome, Raimondi would create one of Raphael’s most famous designs, the engraving of the Judgement of Paris, which Hubert Damisch said was “traditionally held to be after a lost work by Raphael”, (Damisch, The Judgement of Paris, 72). The links between the engraving and the Malmesbury Judgement of Paris need to elucidated in detail in section 3, along with other antique and contemporary sources like the Leda; but the next section aims to expand on the cross-fusion of ideas between Rome and Venice, in order to locate the Malmesbury Judgment within the Raphael/’s Roman/Venetian nexus. A secondary aim is to overview the new scholarship in Raphael studies that addresses this issue of the Rome/Venice interchange and the problem of diversity in his oeuvre.




Graeme and Norman Cameron, unpublished Research Summary, The Judgement of Paris, Raphael Sanzio, 2011.

Articles and Books

Costanza Barbieri, “ The Competition between Raphael, and Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s Role in It” in The Cambridge Companion to Raphael, ed Marcia B. Hall, 2005.

Bernard Berenson, The Study and Criticism of Italian Art, 2 vols, 1902-3.

Graeme Cameron, The Secrets of Leonardo da Vinci, Vol. 1, 2001.

Sir Martin Conway, Giorgione – A New Study of his Art as a Landscape Painter, 1927.

J.A. Crowe and G.B. Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in Northern Italy 2 vols. (ed) Tancred Borenius, 1912.

Hubert Damisch, Le Jugement de Paris: Iconologie analytique, 1992; translation, The Judgement of Paris, 1996.

Frank DeStefano, “Discovery of Paris”., no date.

Fiona Healey, Rubens and the Judgement of Paris,(1997.

Clark Hulse, The Rule of Art: Literature and Painting in the Renaissance, 1990.

George Goldner, “A Source for Titian’s Nymph and Shepherd”, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 116, No. 856 (Jul., 1974), pp. 392-395.

Paul Joannides, “Titian, Giorgione and the Mysteries of Paris”, Artibus et historiae, no. 61 (XXI), 2010, 99-114.

H Niyazi, Three Pipe Problem, The Judgement of Paris – Reviewing evidential standards, 23/11/11.

Erwin Panofsky, Problems in Titian: Mainly Iconographic, 1969.

Carlo Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie dell Arte”, 1965.

Ernst Samuels, Bernard Berenson: The Making of a Connoisseur, 1979.


Jaynie Anderson, Giorgione : the Painter of "poetic brevity" including catalogue raisonné, 1997.

K. Bender, The Italian Venus: A topical catalogue of sculptures, reliefs,
paintings, frescos, drawings, prints and illustrations of identified Italian artists


Slyvie Béguin et al, Raphael dans les collections françaises, 1984.

Bernard Berenson, Italian pictures of the Renaissance : a list of the principal artists and their works, with an index of places. Venetian school, 1957.

Charles Hope and Jane Martineau, The Genius of Venice 1500-1600, 1983.

Paul Joannides, The Drawings of Raphael, 1983.

Vegelin van Claerbergen et al, David Teniers and the Theatre of Painting, 2006.

Gustave Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, (1854) pp. 416.