Leda and the Swan Picture

In Greek mythology, Leda (Λήδα) was daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, and wife of the king Tyndareus (Τυνδάρεως), of Sparta. Her myth gave rise to the popular motif in Renaissance and later art of Leda and the Swan. She was the mother of Helen (Ἑλένη) of Troy, Clytemnestra (Κλυταιμνήστρα), and Castor and Pollux (Κάστωρ & Πολυδεύκης, spelled Kastor and Polydeuces).

Leda was admired by Zeus, who seduced her in the guise of a swan. As a swan, Zeus fell into her arms for protection from a pursuing eagle. Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched Helen — later known as the beautiful "Helen of Troy" — Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux (also known as the Dioscuri (Διόσκουροι).

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1. Models