The Judgement of Paris
About the work
Thornhill’s painting is one of three Greek mythical scenes (the others being Diana and Actaeon and The Rape of Proserpine both c.1705) which may have been studies for wall paintings. Thomas Foley, MP for Hereford and Stafford, commissioned paintings for Stoke Edith, his home in Hereford which was later demolished in 1927. In the final scheme, The Judgement of Paris was not included.
About the artist
James Thornhill, born in Dorset, was apprenticed to Thomas Highmore (1689-97) but also studied and probably assisted Antonio Verrio and Louis Laguerre. He became a Freeman of the Painter-Stainers’ Company in 1704 and began painting scenery in 1705. His surviving decorative schemes include those at Greenwich Hospital (1708-27), Blenheim Palace (1716), Charborough Park (1718) and St. Paul’s Cathedral (1716-19). Queen Anne also employed him to paint an apartment at Hampton Court. He visited the Netherlands and Paris in 1711 and in the same year became a director of Sir Godfrey Kneller’s Academy, taking it over in 1716. In 1720, he became Serjeant Painter and was knighted. He became MP for Weymouth in 1722 and ran an Academy from his home.
- The Judgement of Paris
- Oil on canvas
- height: 122.30 cm, width: 119.50 cm
- Purchased from Agnew's, November 1964
- Commissioned by Thomas Foley MP of Stoke Edith, Herefordshire; with Agnew's Gallery, London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in November 1964
- GAC number