Oenone (left end panel)

This panel features several stories from the turbulent life of the prince, . The prince's first wife, the Oenone, appears at center, wearing a flowing brocaded gown and carrying a bow. Blessed with the gift of prophecy, Oenone foretold to Paris the dire consequences of his pursuit of the beautiful queen, . The left-hand side of the panel shows the Judgment of Paris. Here, a reclining Paris hands a golden apple to Venus--one of three bare-breasted goddesses--in exchange for access to Helen. Oenone reappears on the right-hand side, imploring Paris, already mounted on a white horse, not to abandon her. In the distance, Paris, alone on horseback, gallops toward the turreted red walls of a city, possibly Troy, and his fateful future. Two smaller panels containing full-length figures of Paris and Oenone dressed in armor originally flanked this central panel. These panels comprised part of a cassone, or wedding chest. In the fashion of his native Siena, a center of cassoni production, Francesco di Giorgio Martini decorated many such chests with elaborate mythological tales.

Tempera on panel (1460s)

by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian (Sienese), 1439-1501)

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