da Vinci

1452 - 1519

 Renaissance Art Map
     Leonardo da Vinci - biography
     Leonardo da Vinci
     1452-1481 Leonardo in the Florence of the Medici    
     1482-1499 At the court of Ludovico il Moro    
     1500-1508 The return to Florence    
     1508-1513 The Milan of Charles d'Amboise    
     1513-1519 The last years: Rome and France    



Leonardo da Vinci
c. 1512




The return to Florence




The lost Leda


All traces of Leda, a pagan image to the generating power of nature, were lost in the 17th century; among the many copies and versions, the most faithful is thought to be that of Cesare da Sesto (after 1515), now in Salisbury.


Cesare da Sesto
(b. 1477, Sesto Calende, d. 1523, Milano)

Leda and the Swan
Wilton House, Salisbury



Leonardo da Vinci,
Head of Leda and Studies of Coiffure,
Royal Library, Windsor.
Leonardo returned repeatedly in his artistic and scientific works to the theme of the knot, the plait,
and the vortex, as derived from Verrocchio. A pattern of spiralling motion, evident as well in the elaborate hairstyle, provides a unifying element to the figures of the woman and the swan, as well as to the botanical details of the background.


Leonardo da Vinci, Head of a Girl, 1506-08, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Parma.
The painting is thought by some to be associated with Leda, and believed by others to be a Madonna. At the end of the 19th century Leonardo's authorship was rejected by those who saw in it the hand of a Neoclassical painter.



Leonardo da Vinci, The Kneeling Leda, Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth.
This study may have preceded the final working of the Standing Leda. However, the poses of the children at the woman's feet indicate associations with the classical group of the Nile, discovered in 1512.



Leonardo da Vinci, Study for a kneeling Leda
Black chalk, pen and ink on paper, 126 x 109 cm
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam


Leonardo da Vinci
, Studies of Leda and a horse
Black chalk, brush and ink on paper
Royal Library, Windsor


Raphael, Leda, 1505-06, Royal Library, Windsor.
Raphael would also borrow and develop this Leonardesque idea in the Galatea.

Copies and workshop works
by the workshop and followers of Leonardo da Vinci

Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Galleria Borghese, Rome


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