LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Oil on panel, 130 x 77,5 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
This painting belongs to the school of Leonardo. Three paintings, in the style of Leonardo, of the standing Leda are known which can be closely connected to a cartoon produced by Leonardo which has not been preserved. It is uncertain when this cartoon was created and when the versions dependent on it were produced.
In contrast to other variations of this theme in which Leda is a proud mother presenting her children to the swan, the process of birth has only just occurred in this painting. The cracked eggs which the pairs of twins have just hatched out of lie on the ground on either side of Leda, and they are gazing at their mother. Leda is looking at her twins hatched from one egg while with her arm she is lovingly embracing Zeus, the father of her children, in the form of a swan.