Description of the picture:
Leda and the Swan – Jacopo Tintoretto. 1555. Oil on canvas. 162 x 218
This Venetian painter created huge canvases in which the characters’ poses and gestures are complex and expressive, and the light fights with darkness. In this case, Tintoretto turned to an ancient myth about how Zeus, or Jupiter among the Romans, captivated by the beauty of Leda, appeared to her in the form of a swan.
The plot was popular with Italian artists because of the ability to convey a shade of sensual love, portray a beautiful naked female body, and finally bring special plasticity to the picture. At Tintoretto, a swan reaches for Leda, which itself resembles this graceful bird. According to legend, the action took place on the Evrot River, where Leda bathed, but the artist transferred the stage to the room of a wealthy Venetian house. The beauty is reclining on the bed, behind her is a velvet curtain that sets off the whiteness of the body and emphasizes its smoothness and tenderness. On the left is a servant who, not knowing what kind of swan it is, is going to put him in a cage. The action of the maid, from which Leda closes her lover, enhances the moment of mystery present in the picture."