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Leda

Leonardo da Vinci, copy after
(Vinci 1452 - Amboise 1519)


The painting, long considered to be by Leonardo, is in fact one of the most significant copies of the lost Leda, cited in sources in France in 1625. Greatly admired in its time, the work revisited the ancient myth of Jupiter who transformed himself into a swan out of love for Leda. The painting was a reflection by Leonardo on the theme of the forces of Nature, the perennial mutation of which he had already explored in his Mona Lisa. The symbolic centre of the Borghese composition is the egg, almost hidden by the grass, with the figure of Leda, still enclosed in the embrace of her lover, acting as a counterpoint. The nine currently known copies of the work are a reflection of the popularity of the theme.


Object Details

Medium | tempera on panel, cm 115 x 86


Inventory | 434

Location | Room 12 – Room of the Bacchantes


Period | '500


Classification | painting




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