|Leda by a Renaissance painter,|
Francesco Ubertini called "Bacchiacca"
The Judgment of Paris in G. B. Marino's version: In this second phase of the beauty contest, each goddess -- in addition to showing herself naked to Paris -- makes a promise. Juno says she will make him the "ruler of whole Asia," basically the Sultan! But, on closer inspection, she is not promising much insofar as Paris is already a son of powerful Priam, though currently in exile. Minerva says she will turn him into an invincible warrior. In retrospect, that would have proved useless since, in the future War of Troy, Paris, though 'weak,' would kill no less than Achilles. He anyway, like Adonis (into whose story his own story has been inserted) later on, does not seem to be interested in such gifts. And now, again, it is the turn of Venus. She stresses that Paris, yeah, is of royal origin, therefore he needs a mate better than any peasant or wood nymph. He deserves the most beautiful woman in the world. He deserves Helen.
"Jupiter left Leda's womb pregnant
with this new sun I am talking about
when, soft and swift, onto her he flew
transfigured into a fair, noble swan.
White and pure she is, as it becomes
a girl born of a bird so white;
smooth, delicate, as bred and fed
inside the frail shell of an egg."