LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Oil on panel, 130 x 77,5 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
The composition of the upper part of the group is determined by a play of curves and contrasting turns, and the contrapposto motif of the standing Leda develops from this: the swan has turned his head up towards Leda, full of desire; her body is turned towards him and she is embracing him with her arm, but her head is to one side, looking at her children. In a manner comparable with the Mona Lisa, the position of the corners of her mouth suggest she is smiling, and in the case of Leda this can be interpreted as a shy agreement to what is happening.