The print is a quite original interpretation of the famous Greek myth of the Judgement of Paris told by Homer in the Iliad and later by Ovid and Lucian. The myth, which has been portrayed by notable painters, namely by Rubens and Lucas Cranach, the Elder, tells the story of the contest between Aphrodite (Venus), Hera (Juno) and Athena (Minerva) – for the prize of a golden apple addressed “To the Fairest.” Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris accompanied by Hermes so that he judged which of the goddesses was the most beautiful.
Elena Hlodec chose to depict the three goddesses standing nude, two seen from the front and one from behind, but without their classical attributes, except perhaps for the image on the right with her head slightly blurred, which might be Athena (Minerva), the goddess of war, since she holds a spear in her hand. The goddess on the left holds in her hand the apple – the coveted prize.
In the background, a clear allusion to classical Greece, one can see several Doric and Ionic columns and at the bottom the main motif is a Greek warrior helmet from where emerges a lyre, an implied reference to Hermes the messenger God who took the goddesses to Paris. The ex libris owner name is discreetly set at the bottom of one of the columns.
It is indeed a very accomplished and well-balanced composition.
José Vicente de Bragança
Yoga, C3/Roulette, Opus 35, 2016, for Katrien Provoost