|by Annibale Carracci, 1596|
The Judgment of Paris in G. B. Marino's version: In order to strengthen her candidacy to the Most Beautiful Goddess Prize, Minerva also introduces herself as Virtue in the flesh. As a consequence, Paris -- if we take into consideration his next dialog with Venus -- will find himself in the same position as Hercules at the Crossroads, a major topic in Renaissance art and literature. Juno here can be practically dismissed, as she plays a quite stereotypical role.
"Virtue I am, of whom no mortal ever
saw anything but a picture, a trace.
To you, however, with unveiled rays
I represent its very bodily shape;
whence, if you are wise, you can take
the authentic norm for true beauty
and know on earth, without obfuscation,
what must be followed and worshiped."