Gavin Hamilton had already studied in Rome in the 1740s. After a short stay in London, he returned there for good in 1756. In the 1770s, he undertook many excavations as an art dealer and archaeologist. When he painted this life-size Venus giving Helen to Paris as his wife, now held by the Palazzo Braschi, in 1782-84, he had already spent about thirty years in Rome.

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