Leda and The Swan  -  Reconstruction

This is under reconstruction now and will be completed In the near future. Copyright © 2012   leonardoresearch.com

Leda and the swan reconstructionleda detail


Leda and the Swan - Reconstruction Image     leonardoresearch.com

leda and the swan detailleda face


Leda and the Swan is the lost masterpieces by Leonardo. It is obviously, Leonardo began the Leda and the Swan before 1504, Firenze. But unfortunately the original cartoon was lost. However the picture is known from many copies, of which the earliest are probably the Spiridon Leda, perhaps by a studio assistant and now in the Uffizi, and the one at Wilton House in England. Other copies by Leonardeschi include:   Fernando Yanez de la Almedina,  Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA (previously at John G. Johnson Collection, 1917),   Giampietrino,  from the collection of the Marquis of Hastings. 


Leda and The Swan Detail








Castor and Pollux were twin brothers, together known as the Dioskouri. Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the quise of a swan.They have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.


Leda and the Swan - Twins






Leda comparing


Unfinished state "Leda and The Swan"

Raphael visited the studio of Leonardo at the age of 21, Leda and The Swan was an unfinished state.
The Swan and twins were only outline in the sketch, Leda's both arms were also vague.

After this state,Obviousiy Leonardo had not depicted any more,1504.
Leonardo began the Anghiari, then Leda and The Swan remain the cartoon.


leda w image800


Left      Leda and the Swan, copy attributed to Il Sodoma, Tempera on wood, Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Right    Il Sodoma and Raphael - Overlay images.

Sodoma's Leda was similar with Raphael's sketch of Leda.

Probably the life-sized carton of Leonardo would be extremely similar to these reproductions.
At that time, detail of the Leonardo's Swan was not accomplishmented.


Leda and the Swan - 2type image

Full size comparison of "Leda and the Swan" - Uffizi and Wilton House Trust

Although the sizes of the two works are very different, the size of the Leda itself perfectly matches and implies that these two pictures are copied directly from the original of Leonardo.

In the two works there is a difference in the representation of the head, the head of Leda at Wilton House is obviously drawn on the basis of Leonardo's drawing.
It turns out that the head of Leda of Leonardo was still incomplete at this point.


Who ordered Leda and The Swan?

In sixteenth-century, the subject was considered more acceptable to depict a woman in the act of copulation with a swan than with a man.
It is originally the picture of an erotic scene, but Leonardo' Leda and the Swan is not erotic excessively.
Leonardo avoided the erotic scene in its early stages, and he added the twin beside the Leda.

Leda is a basically erotic picture and it is the antichristianity subject, the client should have had wealth and power.

Cesare Borgia briefly employed Leonardo da Vinci as military architect and engineer between 1502 and 1503, and leonardo drawn the study of portrait-painting for Cesare.




In 1503 two events occurred which caused Cesare's downfall.

First, Spanish forces turned upon the French in May and drove them out of southern Italy. In control of the Romagna and of papal financial support, Cesare accepted the French defeat calmly.
However, the second event, the death of Alexander VI on August 18, ultimately proved disastrous to Cesare.

In April 1504, Julius and Ferdinand of Aragon feared the presence of a Borgia army, and in May their agents arrested Cesare.

Then Leonardo lost his patron and abandoned the Leda and the Swan,1503~1504.





http://leonardoresearch.com/  September 20 2015