Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

The Best of Leda And A Swan Paintings

Animals

The Best of Leda And A Swan Paintings

If you ever see a painting presenting the girl with a swan – it must be Leda. Leda and the Swan is a story from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces or rapes Leda. According to many versions of the story, Zeus did it on the same night she slept with her husband King Tyndareus. In result of this “romance” Leda bore Helen (yes, that Helen, the cause of the Trojan War) and Polydeuces, children of Zeus. At the same time she was bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta.

The subject was rarely seen in the large-scale sculpture of antiquity. But thanks to Ovid it was a well-known myth through the Middle Ages, and emerged more prominently as a classicizing theme, with erotic overtones, in the Italian Renaissance.


This motif also uncovers the twisted morality of the people of Renaissance who considered depicting a woman in the act of copulation with a swan as more acceptable than making love with a man .

Today we have for you – the best of Leda and a Swan.

1. Ancient Mosaic

Tile mosaic depicting Leda and the Swan from the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Palea Paphos, now in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, 3rd century AD

Tile mosaic depicting Leda and the Swan from the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Palea Paphos, now in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, 3rd century AD

2. (probably) Timotheos

Roman marble possibly reflecting a lost work by Timotheos, Leda and Zeus (as a Swan), El Prado Museum, Madrid

Roman marble possibly reflecting a lost work by Timotheos, Leda and Zeus (as a Swan), El Prado Museum, Madrid

3. Leonardo da Vinci

Cesare da Sesto After Leonardo da Vinci, Leda and the Swan 1510-1515"

Cesare da Sesto After Leonardo da Vinci, Leda and the Swan, 1510-1515

4. Michelangelo

Cornelis Bos after Michelangelo, Leda and the Swan, first half of 16th century, British Museum

Cornelis Bos after Michelangelo, Leda and the Swan, first half of 16th century, British Museum

5. Correggio

Correggio, Leda and the Swan, 1532. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Correggio, Leda and the Swan, 1532. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

6. Francois Boucher

Attributed to Francois Boucher, Leda and Swan, 1740, private collection

7. Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne, Leda and the Swan, 1882, Barnes Foundation


 

Find out more:

     

Art Historian, huge fan of Giorgione and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Founder and CEO of DailyArtMagazine.com and DailyArt mobile app. But to be honest, her greatest accomplishment is being the owner of Pimpek the Cat.

Comments

More in Animals

  • Helmut Koller Helmut Koller

    21st century

    Helmut Koller – Powerful, Symbolic and Abstract Art

    By

    Helmut Koller’s hyperrealistic paintings with abstract colors take hours, even months of work and rare talent to be made. This contemporary artist of Austrian origin, based in Palm Beach Florida, creates psychedelic, pop figurative works (evocative of Warhol’s large celebrity portraits) that require mastery of technique...

  • Characters of Beatrix Potter Characters of Beatrix Potter

    Animals

    A Lesson in Illustration – The Whimsical Characters of Beatrix Potter

    By

    Beatrix Potter, best known for the charming tale of Peter Rabbit, inspired the minds of budding young novelists and illustrators alike. Her most distinguishable artistic traits are well known to be the whimsical anthropomorphism that her stories surround. Stories involving the mischief of a daring young rabbit or...

  • Dogs in Paintings Dogs in Paintings

    Animals

    See a Man About a Dog. Dogs in Paintings

    By

    The title sentence is one of the charming English euphemisms, usually used to apologize for one’s imminent departure or absence—generally to conceal one’s true purpose, such as going to use the toilet or going to buy a drink. We, however, will not dwell on this meaning,...

  • Animals

    2019: Year of the Pig and Pigs in Painting

    By

    According to the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is the year closing the twelve-year lunar calendar cycle. It’s named after the Pig because according to the mythology, it was the last guest to arrive when the Jade Emperor (i.e. first god) or Buddha (depends on the source) called for the great...

  • Animals

    The Lady with the Dog

    By

    The Lady with The Dog is the title I borrowed from Chekhov’s short story. It is a story of an affair, yet in art the dog quite often has been a symbol of fidelity. As you will also see below dogs also have been symbols of...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy