Art relating to the Greek/Roman myth of Leda and the Swan
The Story (from http://einstein.stcloudstate.edu/Dome/clicks/cyg.html ) :
The Swan is the god Zeus in disguise flies off to seduce a woman. Exactly which woman is in some question.
In some stories the target of Zeus' affections is the nymph Nemesis, and the outcome of Zeus' conquest is an egg, which was given to Queen Leda of Sparta. From the egg hatched the beautiful child who was to become Helen of Troy.
In other versions of the story, it was Queen Leda herself, who was seduced by Zeus, but nevertheless slept with her husband King Tyndareus on the very seem evening. There was still an egg produced as the result of the coupling - or even two eggs. After all Zeus had taken the form of a bird. From the egg - or eggs, came the Twins Castor and Polydeuces (known to the Romans as Pollux). We see the Twins in the sky as the Gemini.
Helen and Clytemnestra
Some say that there were two girls born from the eggs as well, Helen and her sister Clytemnestra.
Helen and Polydeuces were the children of Zeus and immortal. Castor and Clytemnestra were the children of Leda's mortal husband Tyndareus and were therefore mortal.
To see larger versions of the following images merely click on the ones you're interested in. If you're aware of other good Leda & the Swan paintings/sculptures/reliefs please email me. All copyrighted images remain copyrighted by their author and/or museum and/or gallery. For copyrighted works I always try & link to the authors page from the thumbnail. If your work is here & not linked how you like please email me.
Background image: Leda, approx. 1531-32, by Correggio, Gemäldegalerie
at Berlin. obtained from:
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