BLOMMENDAEL, Reyer van
(b. 1628, Amsterdam, d. 1675, Haarlem)

Paris and Oenone

c. 1655
Oil on canvas, 123 x 110 cm
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille

Paris was the son of Priam, king of Troy. At his birth it was prophesied that he would bring ruin upon Troy. He was therefore left exposed to die on the slopes of Mt Ida, but was rescued and brought up by shepherds. He was loved by Oenone, a Naiad, or nymph of fountains and streams. But he deserted her for Helen, the Spartan queen, whom he forcibly carried off to Troy, thus bringing about the Troyan war and fulfilling the prophecy made at his birth.

Paris in this painting points at the inscription he has carved in the bark of a tree. He holds Oenone's hand while she reads the words with him.

The Paris and Oenone is one of three painting that bear Van Blommendael's mark. They show women of very similar features.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 3 minutes):
Cristoph Willibald Gluck: Paride ed Elena, Paris' aria