Leda and swan by Leonardo da Vinci

Leda and swan

(Leda und Schwan)

Leonardo da Vinci

Renaissance  ·  birds  ·  Female nude  ·  Famous masterpieces
leda · swan · leda and the swan · greek · mythology · myth · mythological · zeus · disguised · bird · swan · rape · rapes · seduces · seduction · amorous · leda · female · nude · full · length · children · putto · putti · italianate · landscape · high · Renaissance
Leda and swan by Leonardo da Vinci
Undated   ·  Öl auf Leinwand  ·  19.05 Megapixel  ·  Picture ID: 243304   ·  Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy / bridgemanimages.com
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Who has not heard of Helena, the most beautiful woman of mythological Greece, whose robbery through Paris sparked the Trojan War? Leda was her mother, her father Zeus, who approaches the beautiful in the form of a swan. He stands on a stone, so that he maintains the natural size of the swan and the lover yet seems equal.

The shape of the right wing of the swan, which nestles exactly around the hips and thighs of the princess, the erect left wing, which also receives the female curve of the body of the coveted; the highly arched neck of the divine candidate, the half-open mouth of the swan - all this expresses the yearning and passion of the scene.

Both Leda's arms grasp the neck of the swan, her head and lap are still turned away, his breasts turned. Something derisive lies in the smile of the mouth, the eyes look rather shy to the ground in the direction of the observer.

In contrast to this passionate movement, stands the quiet, idealized landscape. Wooded hills, a sprawling river, a castle on the hillside. In the right foreground, two putti imitate the play of God and Queen and hand her a small bouquet of flowers for bridal jewelry. Behind, half hidden among the red flowers, is a big egg, strangely enough. According to Greek legend, Leda is said to have borne her daughter Helena and her brother Castor from an egg. But also from her real husband, who attended her the same night, come two children, who also hatched from an egg and later played a significant role in mythology.

Silent witnesses of the momentous scene on the painting da Vincis are two birds. One may think here of the famous closing verse of a love song by Walter von der Vogelweide, which conjures up the stealth of love: ... as just a little bird. Tandaradei! That may well be secretive. © Meisterdrucke
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Other art prints by Leonardo da Vinci
Studies of water eddies, c1513 1954 Perspective Study for the Background of The Adoration of the Magi (pen and ink on paper) Study of the Human Body Codex on the flight of birds, Folio 11 recto The Lady with the Ermine (Cecilia Gallerani), 1496 (oil on walnut panel) Reconstruction of da Vincis design for an anemometer (wood and metal) Unknown picture Mona Lisa Mainspring of a clock Reconstruction of da Vincis design for a bicycle (wood) Portrait of a Lady from the Court of Milan, c.1490-95 Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper with a Scroll inscribed Virtutem Forum Decorat (reverse) Detail of the Mona Lisa, c.1503-6 Detail of the Dragon from the drawing Fight between a Dragon and a Lion brown ink with wash on paper The Last Supper, 1495-97  (post restoration)
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Leda und Schwan (AT) Leda und Schwan (DE) Leda und Schwan (CH) Leda and swan (US) Leda e cigno (IT) Léda et le cygne (FR) Leda en zwaan (NL) Leda y cisne (ES) Леда и лебедь (RU) लेदा और हंस (HI) 勒达和天鹅 (ZH) Leda e cisne (PT) レダと白鳥 (JP) ليدا والبجعة (AE)


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