Arrival of Paris and Helen at the Court of Priam, King of Troy
c. 1500
Europe: Flanders
Not on View

The arrival of Paris and Helen in Troy is heralded with great fanfare. Throngs of welcoming noblemen and women line the road from the gates of the city to the palace. A chorus of trumpeters on a tapestry-laden balcony announces their approach. At the bottom left, Helen bows before King Priam, who has a long white beard and a flared crown. Paris, recognizable by his curly brown locks and the three gold chains around his neck, presents his bride-to-be.

The narrative proceeds to the right, where, inside the palace, Priam introduces Helen to the ladies of the court. Jewel-encrusted columns delineate the sumptuous interior. Paris’s mother, Hecuba—identified by her crown inlaid with jewels—inclines forward to embrace her son. Both scenes are full of imaginative and anecdotal details from daily life, from the faces appearing through windows to the young aristocrat in the center foreground, who sports a feathered hat and bead-embroidered leggings.


  • Title: Arrival of Paris and Helen at the Court of Priam, King of Troy
  • Date: c. 1500
  • Medium: wool and silk threads
  • Dimensions: 157 x 164 in. (398.7 x 416.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1965.1.129.1.T
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Royal House of Luxembourg-Montmorency, Chateau de Cany, Normandy (near Yvetot);
Prince Édouard de Montmorency-Beaumont-Luxembourg to;
Princesse Anne-Marie-Josèph de Montmorency-Beaumont-Luxembourg (1839–1900), by marriage to;
Barón Félix-Antoine-Auguste-Jean Vogt von Hunolstein (1832–1905), by descent to their son;
Félix Vogt von Hunolstein, Hôtel de Maillebois, rue de Grenelle, Paris, sold March 10, 1920 to;
[Duveen Bros., New York, sold 1964/65 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena.

Imagining the Past in France: 1250-1500

  • J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010-11-16 to 2011-02-06

Loan to Metropolitan Museum of Art Permanent Collection

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1966-10-25 to 1971-03-17

Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2018-12-07 to 2019-05-27
  • King, Donald, The Connoisseur, repr. fig. 2 pp. 232-237
  • Gruen, John, World Journal Tribune,
  • Gruen, John, World Journal Tribune,
  • Knox, Sanka, The New York Times,
  • McKendrick, Scot, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, pp. 66-67
  • World Journal Tribune, 1966,
  • Knox, Sanka, The New York Times, 1966, p. 53
  • Scherer, Margaret R., The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 1967, figs. 10, 11 pp. 372-381
  • Asselberghs, Jean-Paul, Les Tapisseries Flamandes Aux Etats-Unis D'Amerique, 1974, p. 37
  • Kem, J., Jean Lemaire de Belges' 'Les illustrations de Gaule et singularitez de Troye': The Trojen Legend in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, 1994, pp. 127, 136, 177-178
  • Morrison, Elizabeth et. al., Imagining the Past in France, 2010, Fig. 63 p. 300
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. D92 p. 448

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