Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Porporati Corregio Leda

Carlo Antonio Porporati after Antonio Corregio

Leda Bathing

23 x 29.5 inches

A very fine etching on copper executed by Porporati (1741-1816) after the painting by Corregio and published in Paris during the 1770s.

The detail in this etching is quite phenomenal and illustrates the extraordinary abilities of Porporati as an engraver. He was born in Italy but travelled to Paris where his talents were in great demand. Much of his output centres around religious and mythological subjects, as with this charming depiction of Leda bathing in a forest stream accompanied by her handmaidens and a brace of aggressively persistent swans. In Greek mythology, Leda was seduced by Zeus, the ruler of Mount Olympus, who approached her in the guise of a swan and tricked her into courtship and an illicit consummation. At the same time, allegedly, Leda was fulfilling her conjugal duties with her husband, Tyndareus, the king of Sparta. As a consequence of these shenanigans Leda bore four children: Helen and Polydeuce, the children of Zeus; and Castor and Clytemnestra, the children of her long-suffering Spartan husband.< br>
Scenes such as this were highly popular for their implied but acceptable eroticism. When it was considered infra dig to speculate upon sexual relations between a man and a woman it was absolutely fine to depict a woman being set upon sexually by a large swan.


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