Choose from the following zoom modes:
-or-

Select image to view:

Leda and the Swan by Jean-Leon Gerome

Loading...
Lens Options
Size: S / M / L / XL

Zoom Level: I / II / III / VI

Advanced Settings

Leda and the Swan by Jean-Leon Gerome

- Item No.

Jean Leon Gerome depicts the myth of Leda and the Swan

Key Features

  • This exquisite painting by French artist Jean-Leon Gerome depicts the myth of Leda and the Swan
  • A champion of orientalism Gerome lends to his depiction of Leda an intoxicating and exotic scenario
  • Gerome was one of the most prominent French academic painters in the the nineteenth century
  • During his career Gerome achieved great popularity and his work is still highly coveted today
  • Signed J.L. Gerome, lower right
  • Dated 1895
  • C: 32 1/2" high x 29" wide F: 38" high x 34 1/2" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C: 29" F: 34 1/2" Inches
  • Height:
    C: 32 1/2" F: 38" Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    France
  • Subject:
    Landscapes
  • Artist:
    Gerome, Jean-Leon
Jean-Leon Gerome
1824-1904 · French

Leda and the Swan

Signed J.L. Gerome, lower right
Oil on canvas

This exquisite painting by acclaimed French artist Jean Leon Gerome depicts the highly charged mythological tale of Leda and the Swan.  Lavish in its attention to decoration, and striking in its juxtaposition of porcelain skin with glistening water, Gerome's Leda demonstrates the artist as the quintessential academic, a master of texture and form.  A champion of orientalism, Gerome lends to his depiction of Leda an intoxicating and exotic scenario. Instead of being ravaged by the swan, Leda openly embraces its arrival, transforming the myth into a surrealist vision of sensual delights.

The story of Leda and the Swan is a Greek myth where Zeus transforms into a swan and seduces Leda, the wife of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta. Because Leda lays with her husband on the same night she eventually gives birth to two sets of twins born from two different eggs. Castor and Clytemnestra are fathered by Tyndareus and Pollux and Helen are the children of Zeus. Leda, through this double seduction, becomes impregnated with two major heroines of the Trojan War, her seduction marking an important precursor for the events of both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Her boys Castor and Pollux eventually reside in the heavens as the immortal-mortal Gemini twins.

One of the most prominent French academic painters in the second half of the nineteenth century, Gerome was also among the foremost inventors of Orientalist themes.  Inspired by the year he spent in Rome with Paul Delaroche in 1834-44, he developed an insatiable appetite for traveling and in 1855 made his first trip to Egypt.  He became a meticulous recorder of the costume and customs of the near East and is probably best known for these Orientalist images especially his ones of nudes in Moorish or Turkish bath scenes. Gerome traveled widely in Turkey, Egypt and North Africa. A sculptor as well as a painter, his female figures have the same classical precision of Ingres, but are executed with a more pronounced sensuality and realism. During his career, Gerome achieved great popularity and he had considerable influence as a defender of academic tradition. Actively courted and patronized by collectors during his lifetime, the majority of Gerome's works were eventually gifted to major museums and very few reside in private hands.

 Dated: 1895

C: 32 1/2" high x 29" wide
F: 38" high x 34 1/2" wide

 Provenance:
Bernheim Jeune & Fils, Inc.
Schnittjer (sold, Parke Bernet Galleries, Inc., NY., March 19, 1942, lot 360)
C.B. Squires (acquired at the above sale)
John Morrin, New York (sold, Parke Bernet Galleries, Inc., N.Y. , April 25, 1968, lot 264)
Wade Seacrest
Anonymous (sold, Parke Bernet, Los Angeles, November 13-14, 1972, lot 51, illustrated)
Forbes Magazine Collection, New York
Private collection

 Literature:
Jean-Leon Gerome Paris Photographs, Gerome, Oeuvres, Cabinet des Etampes, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Malcolm Preston, "Pedulum Swings Back to an Era of Realism", Newsday, November 3, 1974
William Scale, Nineteenth Century, vol. III, no. 3, Autumn, 1977, Gilles Cugnier edition. Cover illustration.
Oeuvres de J. L. Gerome (Bibliotheque National, Paris), XXIV, 6, Catalogue de Vesoul, 1981, p. 81.
Margaret Kelly, Highlight from the Forbes Magazine Galleries, New York, 1985, p. 82 Gerald M. Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Leon Gerome, with a Catalogue Raissone, London, 1986, pp. 276-77, no. 427. Illustrated. Also illustrated in color on p. 145
Jane Davidson Reid, The Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1800-1900s, New York 1993, vol. 2, p. 632
Gerald M. Ackerman Jean-Leon Gerome: Monographie revisee. Catalogue raissone mis a jour, Paris, 2000, p. 340, no. 427. Illustrated p. 341., no. 427.

Exhibition:
New York, The Emily Love Gallery, Hofstra University, New York, Art Pompier: Anti Impressionism, 1974, no. 48 Illustrated

  Select Artist's Museums:
Louvre Museum, Paris
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Brooklyn Museum, New York
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
National Gallery of London
Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Art Institute of Chicago
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge
Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
 
Painting by William Bouguereau

Collecting 19th Century Art

Nineteenth century art has exploded on the market over the past two or three decades, fetching prices that have made critics take notice. Read More »

Related Items

Go to »
By the River by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Go to »
Whitby by John Grimshaw

Request More Information

Please submit your question/comment below.

Join our email and enjoy advance notice of acquisitions, events and exclusive sales promotions.


Close [X]
Request a Phone Call

An M. S. Rau sales consultant will call you within 4 to 6 hours during our normal business hours (9am - 5:15pm CST and closed on Sundays) or by noon the next business day if we receive your request after business hours. We look forward to speaking with you.


*We need your zip Code to determine your time zone.

Close [X]
Add to my Collection Email to a Friend

Share this item with your spouse, your decorator or a fellow collector...you can even send it to several email addresses at once. Fill out this form and we'll send them a link to this item.

Close [X]

You are currently not logged in. Please Sign In to create a collection or add items to your existing collection(s).

If you do not have an account, please Register and enjoy benefits immediately.


Close [X]
Price: $985,000
Add to my Bag

To order by phone or for more info call
1-888-711-8084