Leda and the Swan (c.1510; Milan, Italy) by Leonardo da Vinci

Leda and the Swan - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1510; Milan, Italy

Artwork Information

TitleLeda and the Swan
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec.1510; Milan, Italy
Dimensions69.5 x 73.7 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationDestroyed

About Leda and the Swan

The artwork titled “Leda and the Swan” was created by the renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1510 during his time in Milan, Italy. This mythological painting is executed in oil on panel, measuring 69.5 by 73.7 centimeters and it represents a masterpiece from the High Renaissance period. Sadly, the artwork’s physical presence has been lost to time as it is recorded to have been destroyed.

The artwork portrays the mythological account of Leda, who is depicted as a gracefully posed nude, intimately entwined with a swan, Zeus in disguise. The soft chiaroscuro—the play of light and shade—graceful figure, and serene landscape are hallmarks of Leonardo’s style, conveying both the sensuality of the subject and the idealized beauty of the Renaissance. Adding a narrative layer, the offspring of Leda and Zeus can be seen around them, depicted as cherubic children with swan attributes, emphasizing the outcome of their mythological union. The setting is both detailed and atmospheric, with a distant landscape that includes trees, water, and structures, further evoking the lush environment typical of such stories from antiquity.

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