Leda and the Swan

Artist: Bachiacca (Francesco d'Ubertino Verdi) (Italian, Florence 1494–1557 Florence)

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: Overall 16 7/8 x 12 1/2 in. (42.9 x 31.8 cm); painted surface 16 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. (41.9 x 31.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.60.11


Other versions of this subject by Bachiacca are at Villa I Tatti, Settignano; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Troyes; Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and formerly with Julius Böhler.

The picture is painted on a panel with an intentionally convex surface. The vertical edges have been cut, though probably not very much. On the whole the condition is good. There are scattered minor losses and a few larger ones in the foreground and on the left wing of the swan. The picture was cleaned in 1983.

For identification of mythological subject matter, see Christiansen 1984. Suida (1949) notes that Leda's pose derives from a print by Dürer, The Penance of Saint John Chrysostum, and Shearman (1965) identifies the source of the buildings in the left background as a print of The Prodigal Son by Lucas van Leyden of 1510. Nikolenko (1966) dates the picture about 1525.