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The Judgment of ParisThe Judgment of ParisJacob JordaensFlemishc. 1620-2587.7 x 113 cmOil on CanvasLowe Art Museum, University of MiamiCoral Gables, Florida<p>Jacob Jordaens or Jaecques Jordaens (Antwerp, 1593-1678)</p><p>Jacob Jordaens was born on May 19th, 1593 in Hoogstraat, Antwerp to the wealthy linen merchant Jacob Jordaens and his wife Barbara van Wolschaten, the first of eleven children. From 1607 to 1608, Jacob Jordaens was registered working as a pupil under Adam Van Noort in records associated with Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke. For the next eight years he studied under Van Noort and lived with him and his family. Between 1615 and 1616, Jordaens was recognized as a master watercolor and tempera painter by the Guild of St. Luke; Jordaens subsequently married Anna Catharina Van Noort, the eldest daughter of his teacher. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Jacob Jordaens did not travel to Italy to study Classical and Renaissance art; he never ventured farther than Amsterdam from his home in Antwerp. However, Jordaens was able to procure prints, drawings and other works by several Italian artists, including Titian, Veronese, Caravaggio, and Bassano.</p><p>Along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens's style reflects traditional characteristics associated with the Antwerp school of painting, a style known for its warm palette, naturalism, and chiaroscuro. Many of his paintings depicted historical subjects but he also painted biblical, mythological, and allegorical scenes as well as compositions that alluded to Flemish proverbial tales. Jordaens’s work was heavily influenced by Rubens,as evidenced by his choice of iconography, his robust and powerful figures, and his expressive hand. Jordaens's career reached its peak between 1619 and 1627; during this time he produced a large number of oil paintings and was commissioned to design several tapestries.</p><p>In his early compositions, Jordaens intended his figures to be viewed from slightly below the foreground. His bold palette shows influences from Late Mannerism, and his nudes typically have a full-bodied, warm golden tone. Jordaens’s earlier commissions frequently came from wealthy local Flemish patrons and clergy, often creating compositions depicting celebratory scenes and Flemish traditions. By the mid- to late 1620s, his style began to mature, avoiding large expanses of color, favoring shorter, angular lines, and including architectural elements. Jordaens began to use red tones as opposed to golden hues to depict his figures, and his hand became looser and more fluid over time. As Jordaens began to receive more commissions across Europe, he expanded his workshop; he is recorded having at least fifteen official pupils, but possibly taught more than twenty. Towards the end of his career, between 1652 and his death in 1678, his formerly vibrant colors transitioned to a gray-blue palette as Jordaens used increasingly thinner applications of paint on his canvases.</p><p>The J<em>udgment of Paris</em> is an example of Jacob Jordaens’s earlier painting style as it was completed sometime between 1620 and 1625. According to auction records, Jordaens painted several compositions depicting <em>The Judgment of Paris</em>, but the only surviving version resides in the Lowe Gallery at the University of Miami in Florida.</p><p>The scene refers to a legend from Greek mythology, showing the young shepherd, Paris (at the far left) with Hermes to his right, confronted by the three goddess, Aphrodite (shown with Eros at her side) Hera (shown with a peacock), and Athena (shown with her armor at her feet). According to legend, Zeus held a banquet to celebrate the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, the parents of Achilles, but did not invite Eris, the goddess of discord. To demonstrate her spite, Eris attended the banquet in possession of a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, claiming that the apple was only intended “for the fairest one.” Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite asked Zeus to decide which of them was the fairest; however, Zeus chose Paris, a Trojan mortal, to make the final decision. Each of the goddesses presented Paris with tempting gifts in exchange for the apple: Hera promised to make him King of Europe and Asia, Athena to make him wisdom and a gifted warrior, and Aphrodite to give him most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. Paris's decision to side with Aphrodite would ultimately lead to the famous Greek and Trojan War. </p><p>Further research is needed to locate more information relating to the painting's early provenance. <em>The Judgment of Paris</em> is first recorded on June 11th, 1754 when J. Siebrecht sold it through Lemens in Brussels, Belgium to the Spanish Consul. The painting was then sold through Christie's in London, England in 1772 to Nieuhoff Nicolaas, then through Schley, de Winter, Yver, in Amsterdam (1777) to De La Salle, then through Spielmann in Vienna (1827) to Michel Van Gelder. Van Gelder lent the painting to the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium for the "Exposition d'Oeuvres de Jordaens" from October to November in 1928 and then again to the Boymans Museum in Rotterdam on 1938. Michel Van Gelder sold the painting to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation on February 14th, 1957 and in 1961, the Kress Foundation gifted <em>The Judgement of Paris</em> to the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Upon arrival at the Lowe Art Museum, <em>The Judgment of Paris</em> was restored from 1960-1961 by Mario Modestini and remains in excellent condition to this day.</p><p><a href="">“Revealing the Secrets of a 17th Century Masterpiece: Restoration in an Open Workshop”, pages 6-9</a></p><p><a href="">Jacob Jordaens, His Life and Work</a></p><p><a href="">Jacob Jordaens at the Rijksmuseum</a></p><p><a href="">Jacob Jordaens - The Complete Works</a></p><p><a href="">Samuel H. Kress Foundation. “Kress Collection: Lowe Art Museum.”</a></p><p>Auwera, Joost Vander and Irene Schaudies, ed. <em>Jordaens and the Antique</em>. Mercatorfonds: Brussels, 2012.</p><p>Christensen, Anne Haack, Troels Filtenborg, Dr. Jørgen Wadum, et al. “Revealing the Secrets of a 17th Century Masterpiece: Restoration in an Open Workshop.” In <em>Resolution: Special Edition</em>, No. 4 (2008): 6-9.</p><p>d’Hulst, R.-A., Nora de Poorter, and Marc Vandenven, ed. Hans Devisscher and Nora de Poorter. <em>Jacob Jordaens: Paintings and Tapestries</em>.  Gemeentekrediet: Brussels, 1993.</p><p>Modestini, Mario. <em>Unpublished Condition and Treatment Report</em>. Samuel H. Kress Foundation Art Collection Data. Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida, 1960-1987.</p><p>Pataki, Zita Ágota and Birgit Ulrike Münch. <em>Jordaens: Genius of Grand Scale</em>. Columbia University Press:  New York, 2012.</p><p>Rooses, Max. <em>Jacob Jordaens, His Life and Work</em>. E. P. Dutton: New York, 1908.</p>A step-by-step description of Jacob Jordaens’s working method based on a technical study of The Judgment of Paris (now located at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami). The techniques and materials outlined include the preparation of a canvas support, sizing, a double ground, a black chalk/charcoal underdrawing, oil painting, and varnishing.

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