Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces, or rapes, Leda. According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta. In the W.B. Yeats version, it is subtly suggested that Clytemnestra, although being the daughter of Tyndareus, has somehow been traumatized by what the swan has done to her mother. According to many versions of the story, Zeus took the form of a swan and raped or seduced Leda on the same night she slept with her husband King Tyndareus. In some versions, she laid two eggs from which the children hatched.In other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris.
(atributed to) Leonardo da Vinci
Kate Moss photographed by Steve Klein
What a terrific survey of how this (creepily archetypical) story has lived on as an art topic, with intelligent backbone. Thanks!
and the Francoise Boucher was particularly–delightfully/infuriatingly (to some)–over the top. Terrific!
Right. And it’s so naughty…
A god came upon a woman and conceived a child – a god appeared in the form of a bird. In Christianity the Holy Spirit was shown as a dove.
Once again we see the mythological roots of religious baloney.
I love when I receive clever replies. Thanks a lot!