Ancient Art
PrevNext1 of 6
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 6
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext3 of 6
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext4 of 6
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext5 of 6
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext6 of 6
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist Roman copy of a Greek original by: Timotheos, Greek, active 380-350 B.C.

Marble statue of Leda and the Swan, copy of a Greek original by Timotheos, ca. 370 B.C.

ca. 370 B.C. (original); 2nd century A.D. (copy)

Marble

108 x 54 x 55 cm, 340.2 kg (42 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 21 5/8 in., 750 lb.) base: 54.43 kg (120 lb.)
Funding provided by Arthur G. Altschul, B.A. 1943; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss, B.S. 1940s; Peggy and Richard M. Danziger, LL.B. 1963; George Hopper Fitch, B.A. 1932; Allen Grover, B.A. 1922; the Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund; Henry J. Heinz II, B.A. 1931; H. John Heinz III, B.A. 1960; Alexander K. McLanahan, B.A. 1949; and Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule III
1986.1.1
The subject of this slightly under-life-size statue derives from Classical mythology. In the most popular version of the myth, Zeus falls in love with the mortal Leda and transforms himself into a swan, in which form he seduces and impregnates her. In this relatively tame sculptural rendering, Leda (now headless) is shown sitting on a rock, holding the swan (whose head and neck are also missing) against her right leg. The drapery cascading from her left shoulder would have extended along her raised left arm (now missing). The clinging, almost transparent quality of the drapery was a popular stylistic device in the late fifth and fourth centuries B.C. This statue is widely regarded as a Roman copy after a Greek original by the late Classical sculptor Timotheos, and may have decorated a private Roman garden.
Culture: 
Roman, after a Greek original
Period: 
Classical (original); Roman (copy)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Status: 
On view*
Provenance: 

Collection of the Duke of Buccleuch; Clifton Hall (near Nottingham; Lt. Col. P.T. Clifton, D.S.O.); K. Hutchinson, Headley Grove, Epsom, Surrey, acquired from the above; McAlpine Ancient Art, acquired from the above; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., acquired from the above, 1986.

Bibliography: 

James Dallaway, Anecdotes of the Arts in England; or, Comparative Remarks on Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting, Chiefly Illustrated by Specimens at Oxford (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1800), 337.

Adolf Michaelis, “Archäologische Zeitung,” Archäologische Zeitung (1874): 38.

Adolf Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1882), 461.

Barbara Schlörb, “Timotheos,” Jahrbuch Des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts 22 (1965): fig. 17.

Anita Rieche, “Die Kopien der Leda des Timotheos,” Antike Plastik 17 (1978): 24, no. 4.

“Acquisitions 1985–1987,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 40, no. 2 (Spring 1988): 102.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 265, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.