European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Leda and the Swan
Based on a composition by Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519) known through drawings
Early 16th century
Artist/maker unknown, Italian. Follower of Leonardo da Vinci, Italian (active Florence, Milan, Mantua, Rome, and France), 1452 - 1519.
Oil on panel
Currently not on view
Cat. 393John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
LabelThis painting of the standing Leda is based on Leonardo da Vinci's now-lost version of the same subject, known today mainly through copies. Leda embraces Zeus, who came to her in the form of a swan, while turning to observe the two sets of newly hatched twins, the result of their union. The Netherlandish landscape suggests a departure from Leonardo's original. Two artists may have worked on this painting: one for the figures and another for the landscape. The composition evidences the practice of adopting Leonardo's models for different settings.