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Photo, Print, Drawing [Paris receiving the golden apple from Hermes]

[ digital file from b&w film copy neg. ]

About this Item


  • [Paris receiving the golden apple from Hermes]


  • The subject of this drawing is Hermes handing the golden apple of the Hesperides to Paris, who is to judge the greatest beauty among the goddesses Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera. In return for judging Aphrodite the fairest, the goddess rewarded Paris with the most beautiful mortal woman in the world, Helen of Troy, thus initiating the Trojan War. The drawing does not appear to be a copy of another work but an original composition, indicated by the artist's use of chalk to define the composition before setting it down in pen. He was also not completely satisfied with the figure of Mercury: next to this figure, he drew another, smaller one in a slightly less prone position.


  • Reni, Guido, 1575-1642, artist (former attribution

Created / Published

  • [Bologna, Italy], [18th century]


  • -  Paris--(Mythological character)
  • -  Mercury--(Roman deity)
  • -  Myths


  • Ink drawings--Italian--1700-1800.


  • Ink drawings--Italian--1700-1800


  • -  Title, attribution, date, subject, and physical description devised by Diane de Grazia, 2014.
  • -  Inscriptions: Lower edge verso toward right in black chalk: "574"
  • -  Very thin sheet of paper. Framed in brown ink. A watermark of a horn in a crowned escutcheon and the inscription below: "Jan[?] Kool" (for a similar escutcheon with horn but with different marking below see W.A. Churchill, Watermarks in Paper in Holland, England, France, Etc. in the VII and XVIII Centuries and their Interconnection, Amsterdam, 1935, p. CCLII, no. 321 found on a print of 1740. Jan Kool was active between 1728 and 1800).
  • -  Title in P&P Bradley Collection inventory card: Paris receiving the apple from Mercury.
  • -  No. 188.
  • -  George Lothrop Bradley Collection.
  • -  Bequest; George Lothrop Bradley; 1919.
  • -  The former, incorrect, attribution to Guido Reni was rejected by Catherine Johnston (according to note on mat). The 18th-century watermark indicates the work is much later. The sheet is closer in style to Donato Creti (1671-1749), a Bolognese artist whose work was influenced by Reni. There is a drawing of 1698 by Creti of a standing Paris handing the golden apple to Aphrodite (Cini Foundation, Venice, repr. Marco Riccomini, Donato Creti. I disegni della raccolta Certani all Fondazione Cini, exh. cat., Venice, 2011, cat. no. 57). There is also a painting by the same artist in the Collezioni comunali d'arte in Bologna of this subject, also with a standing Paris who receives the apple from Hermes. The figure of Hermes swooping in to give Paris the apple is close to the form and position of Hermes in the drawing in the Library of Congress. Creti may very well be the source for the morphology of the figures and for the composition: he often positioned his main figures sitting or leaning against trees with secondary figures or stories at the side, as seen here. In spite of this, the sheet is not an original work by Creti. Marco Riccomini (Donato Creti. Le opere su carta. Catalogo ragionata, Turin, 2012) sees a generic Bolognese artist in this drawing (e-mail 1/30/2013). Until there are certain comparisons with works by Bolognese artists of the period, the author of this sheet remains unknown.
  • -  Condition assessment; Left corners reinforced. Some dirt at edges, 2014.
  • -  Conserved; 08-82-017.28


  • 1 drawing : brown ink ; sheet 27 x 20.1 cm (10 5/8 x 7 15/16 in.)

Call Number/Physical Location

  • DRWG/MA, no. 21 (A size) [P&P]

Source Collection

  • Bradley, George Lothrop, 1846-1906. George Lothrop Bradley Collection

Digital Id

  • cph 3c05045 //

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 92500450

Reproduction Number

  • LC-USZ62-105045 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory

  • No known restrictions on publication.

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

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  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
  • Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-105045 (b&w film copy neg.)
  • Call Number: DRWG/MA, no. 21 (A size) [P&P]
  • Access Advisory: ---

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Reni, Guido, Artist (Former Attribution. Paris receiving the golden apple from Hermes. , . [Bologna, Italy, 18th century] Photograph.

APA citation style:

Reni, G. Paris receiving the golden apple from Hermes. , . [Bologna, Italy, 18th century] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Reni, Guido, Artist (Former Attribution. Paris receiving the golden apple from Hermes. [Bologna, Italy, 18th century] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.