The Judgement of Paris

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.

Buy a print or image licence

You can purchase this reproduction

If you have any products in your basket we recommend that you complete your purchase from Art UK before you leave our site to avoid losing your purchases.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

This painting depicts a critical moment in classical mythology. The man on the left with his back to us is Paris, who had been raised as a shepherd but was actually a prince of Troy. He has been asked to judge a beauty contest between the goddesses Venus, Juno and Minerva, and to award a golden apple to the winner. We see Paris hand the apple to Venus, won over by her promise to reward him with the love of the most beautiful mortal woman – Helen, the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. It is a choice that will lead to Paris’ eventual abduction of Helen, the Greeks' attempts to recapture her and the eventual destruction of Troy. Here, however, his decision is not depicted as a portent, but is hailed by the god Mercury, while four putti descend from the sky to assist in Venus’ coronation.

The National Gallery, London



The Judgement of Paris


about 1597-9


Oil on oak


H 133.9 x W 174.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1966

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue