Greek Boeotian pottery figure of Leda and the swan




A fine hollow moulded pottery figure depicting Leda and the swan. Leda is depicted standing on a rectangular plinth and wearing a himation which has fallen from her shoulders to reveal her upper torso. The surface retains extensive traces of white pigment decoration.

Leda and the Swan is a Greek myth in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces or rapes the beautiful maiden Leda. According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta.

Greek, Boeotian, Classical period, mid 4th Century BC

Repaired on neck, some small holes in places where the pottery has eroded. The pottery is in strong stabile condition and the general surface is indicative of a prolonged submersion under water.

20 x 8.8 cms

Ex. deceased estate, Avignon, France; inherited from a British collection formed between c. 1890-1930.

For a figure of inferior quality depicting Leda holding the swan in a similar pose, please see:

For another fine quality model with the torso exposed but a different pose, now in The Louvre, please see: