European Art, 1400-1800 - 9 of 9
The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis
Oil on copper
36.5 x 42 cm
Acquired by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1991
At a wedding party attended by the Roman gods and goddesses, Paris, a Trojan shepherd, judges the beauty of Juno, Minerva, and Venus. Choosing Venus, he is rewarded with the beautiful Helen of Sparta, thus precipitating the Trojan War. Typical of the courtly mannerist style that characterized much European art at the time, Wtewael relegated the main subject to the distant background, filling most of the composition with a complex tangle of figures in exaggerated postures.