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

  • Dragon fresco cover Dragon fresco cover

    Animals

    Here Be Medieval Dragons

    By

    Dragons are everywhere in popular culture. People make movies about them, collect stuffed animals of them, and dress up as them for Halloween. They have been staples of every major fantasy series in the past century. Whether they’re cute or terrifying, everybody loves dragons! This isn’t...

  • 21st century

    Damien Hirst’s Butterflies- from Tea-trays to Mandalas

    By

    Damien Hirst – a prominent Young British Artist (YBAs) and now a billionaire – creates sculptures, paintings and drawings. In all of these forms his work challenges the boundaries between art, science and religion. Mandalas is now open at the White Cube Mason’s Yard, London (20...

  • 20th century

    Henry Moore’s Sheep

    By

    Henry Spencer Moore was an English sculptor and artist. His forms are usually abstract human figures, often depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures. His sculptures can be found across the world. Although his primary role was as a sculptor, there are lots of examples of Henry Moore’s sketches....

  • Medieval bestiary Hydrus cover Medieval bestiary Hydrus cover

    Animals

    The Medieval Bestiary – Cute, Quirky, and Weird Animals

    By

    Of all the medieval manuscripts, bestiaries are definitely the most fun. A medieval bestiary is a book about animals. It’s full of unusual information and charming illustrations about a variety of creatures. Bestiaries were based on an early Christian text called the Physiologus and works by...

  • 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...

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