The episode of Paris and Oenone is considered to be the best page of the poem by Quintus Smyrnaeus, from the 4th century AD. Paris loved, in return, the beautiful nymph, daughter of the river Kebren. When, having formulated the famous judgment on Aphrodite’s attractiveness, Paris left to kidnap Helen, the most beautiful of mortals, Oenone begged him to return to her one day if he happened to get hurt: she would be able to heal him. Wounded by Philoctetes, Paris asked the nymph for help. The woman, feeling betrayed, however, denied her help. Repenting, she ran to Paris’s bedside, but found him already dead. Then even Oenone committed death, according to some sources by hanging himself, according to others by throwing himself on the pyre of his beloved. Adriaen van de Werff, born in Kralingen on 21 January 1659, was among the Dutch artists of his time who enjoyed the highest esteem among his contemporaries, admired and sought after by major collectors, often linked to princely courts. He was the author above all of small and medium-sized works, such as this painting perhaps depicting the love between Paris and Oenone. In them he applied a meticulous attention to detail, derived from the example of the Leiden school, with a cerulean texture of the incarnates, reminiscent of porcelain, derived from reminiscences of the miniature. 1694, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
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