An extremely fine Eastern Imperial Roman marble sculptural group of Leda and the Swan

Zeus, in the form of a swan, stands on a toppled amphora, pouring its contents out over the entirety of the ground (an allegorical representation of the River Eurotas, placing the action in Sparta). The swan pulls at the Spartan queen’s himation with his mouth, while she attempts to hold him off, her left hand about the god’s throat. Leda flees to the right, her right foot raised behind her. Now lost, her right arm would have been raised, her himation gripped tightly in her right hand as she struggles to retain her modesty. A tree trunk situated center rear serves to ensure the physical integrity of the composition. The entire group sits upon a short base, a groove encircling the perimeter. Roughly finished on the reverse. Losses to Zeus’ wings, a chip from his breast. Leda’s head and right arm lost. No repair or restoration. A rare composition for the subject, showing Leda from behind and fleeing, rather than being drawn in.

 

3rd Century AD, or earlier

 

Height: 43.7 cm.     (17 3/16 in.)

Width: 31.5 cm.     (12 7/16 in.)

Depth: 12.7 cm.     (5  in.)

Ex: California private collection of Ms. A.C., 1960’s-1970’s Acquired by Antiquarium, Ltd. July, 1981.

 

(#rm5469mr)

 

Exhibited: 

BRAFA Art Fair. (Brussels, 26 Jan- 2 Feb 2020) 

 

 

Published: 

Antiquarium, Ltd.; Ancient Treasures XVIII (London, 2019) pp.36-37

Royal Athena Galleries; Art of the Ancient World. no.69 Special Edition. (New York, 1994) cover

 

 

 

Comparandum:

Museum of Antiquities, Kyrene, Lybia  inv. no. 14387

Antiquarium Ltd.

790 Madison Ave., Suite 705

New York, NY 10065

212-734-9776      

info@antiquariumart.com

Copyright © 2020, Antiquarium, Ltd. All rights reserved.