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The Story of Oenone and Paris
Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian (Sienese), 1439 - 1501)
Tempera on panel
34 × 17 cm (13 3/8 × 6 11/16 in.)
This panel features several stories from the turbulent life of the Trojan prince, Paris. The prince's first wife, the nymph Oenone, appears at center, wearing a flowing brocaded gown and carrying a bow. Blessed with the gift of prophecy, Oenone foretold to Paris the dire consequences of his pursuit of the beautiful Spartan queen, Helen. The left-hand side of the panel shows the Judgment of Paris. Here, a reclining Paris hands a golden apple to Venus--one of three bare-breasted goddesses--in exchange for access to Helen. Oenone reappears on the right-hand side, imploring Paris, already mounted on a white horse, not to abandon her. In the distance, Paris, alone on horseback, gallops toward the turreted red walls of a city, possibly Troy, and his fateful future.
Two smaller panels containing full-length figures of Paris and Oenone dressed in armor originally flanked this central panel. These panels comprised part of a cassone, or wedding chest. In the fashion of his native Siena, a center of cassoni production, Francesco di Giorgio Martini decorated many such chests with elaborate mythological tales.
Wheelwright Family, by inheritance to Edmund March Wheelwright.
Edmund March Wheelwright, 1854 - 1912, by inheritence to Elizabeth Brooks Wheelwright, 1912.
1912 - 1943
Elizabeth Brooks Wheelwright, born 1860, sold to Wildenstein & Company, 1943.
1943 - 1961
Wildenstein & Co. (New York), sold to Thomas S. Hyland, 1961.
1961 - 1970
Thomas S. Hyland (Greenwich, Connecticut), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.
Landscapes of Myth (November 5, 2002 to February 2, 2003) (Cat. 10)
- The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), November 5, 2002 to February 2, 2003
Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts (March 31 to June 21, 2015)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 31 to June 21, 2015
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Van Marle, Raimond. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. 19 vols. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1923-1938), vol. 16 (1937), p. 257.
Buck, Richard D., and George L. Stout. "Original and Later Paint in Pictures." Technical Studies 8, no. 3 (January 1940), pp. 129, 132, fig. 4.
Weller, Allen S. Francesco di Giorgio, 1439-1501 (Chicago: The Univeristy of Chigaco Press, 1943), pp. 115-18, fig. 38.
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Christiansen, Keith, Laurence B. Kanter, and Carl Brandon Strehlke, eds. Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420-1500 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Harry N. Abrams, 1988), p. 324.
Lyons, Claire L. Landscapes of Myth, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002), unpaginated, no. 10.
Miziolek, Jerzy. Mity-legendy-exempla: Wloskie malarstwo swieckie epoki Renesansu ze zbiorow Karola Lanckoronskiego (Warsaw: Uniwersytet Warzawski Instytut Archaeologii, 2003), pp. 101-3, fig. 66.
David, Benjamin. "Narrative in Context: The Cassoni of Francesco di Giorgio." In Renaissance Siena: Art in Context. A. Lawrence Jenkens, ed. (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2005), pp. 134-37, fig. 9.
Zuffi, Stefano. Amore ed erotismo (Milan: Electa, 2008), p. 342, ill.
Zuffi, Stefano. Love and the Erotic in Art. Stephen Sartarelli, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 342, ill.