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The Dream of Paris

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Monogrammist PG
Germany, active c. 1525–50

About this artwork

Faced with choosing the fairest goddess among Minerva, Juno, and Venus, the Trojan prince Paris picked Venus, shown here holding a heart and the golden apple given as a prize in the contest, with her son Cupid frolicking at her feet. Paris wears the garb of a contemporary knight rather than classical dress, a choice that emphasizes the enduring relevance of his moral crossroads as well as, through contrast, the nudity of the goddesses. His sleeping pose and the painting’s inscription, PARIS / TRA(U)M (“dream of Paris,” on the slip of paper attached to the tree), indicate that he is in the midst of a dream vision, a poetic device carried over from medieval allegory and used to foreshadow future events in a narrative. Here, these include the departure of Paris and Helen by boat in the middle distance, the catalyst for the Trojan War.


On View, Gallery 207


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Monogrammist PG


The Dream of Paris


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


Inscribed: PARIS / TRAM (on paper attached to central tree trunk),1 O.W. / 1536 / PG (or GP) in ligature (on central tree trunk)


49.1 × 32.8 cm (19 5/16 × 12 7/8 in.); Painted Surface: 48.4 × 32 cm (19 1/16 × 12 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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