Leda and the red swan


Title: Leda and the red swan

Date: 2021

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimension (cm):

L 29,5


H 56,5


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Leda and the red swan, is a work of Safir-Rifas’s collection.

Leda and the Swan is a Greek mythological story and has often been a subject in art. Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces or violates Leda. According to many versions of the story, Zeus took the form of a swan and raped Leda the same night she slept with her husband, King Tindaro. The subject of Leda and the Swan was a well-known myth in the Middle Ages, but emerged most prominently as a classical theme, with erotic overtones, in the Italian Renaissance. The painting depicts Leda as she grabs the red swan by her neck, a sign of possession and lust or sexual gesture. The white color of the nightgown represents the loss of her purity. Zeus is depicted as a red swan to symbolize rape, violence and lust. At the same time Zeus, being in the form of a bird, finds himself in the hands of Leda who holds him tightly around her neck and he gently pecks her chin in a teasing kiss. The red flower symbolizes elegance and luxury while the mask is the sign of the duality between the adulteress and the faithful wife.

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