BOS, Cornelis
(b. ca. 1506, 's-Hertogenbosch, d. 1555, Groningen)

Leda and the Swan

1540s
Engraving, 275 x 406 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

Michelangelo's composition of Leda and the Swan enjoyed great popularity very shortly after its completion in October 1530. After the painting and the cartoon arrived in Lyon in early 1532, the depiction instantly caused a great sensation, and several copies were created after the cartoon. Michelangelo's two originals as well as the derivatives served as a basis for numerous further imitations. As early as 1540-41, Vasari made a painting based on the cartoon. The latter is lost today, as is Michelangelo's tempera painting, which found its way to Fontainebleau and was burned there in the 1640s because of its erotic subject.

It is generally thought that the graphic representations, such as Bos's engraving, reflect Michelangelo's painting, while the various painted copies were based on the cartoon.




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