Leda and the Swan sculpture

Leda and the Swan sculpture, Judith Forrest, public art, Fremantle

Public Art: Leda and the Swan sculpture

Sculptor: © Judith Forrest

Description: This is one of a series of small painted steel & bronze sculptures that sit atop existing bollards at Fremantle wharf. The sculpture depicts a swan pulling at a woman's dress. I suspect she got too close to the swan's nest.

Date Unveiled: The group of eight sculptures were unveiled in November , 2002 by the Mayor of Fremantle, Peter Tagiaferri.

Location: The sculptures can be found lining the wharf at Victoria Quay,  O'Connor Landing Ferry Terminal (AKA Rottnest Ferry Terminal), Fremantle Harbour, Western Australia.


Leda and the Swan

A small drama played out on the riverbank

Trivia : Leda and the Swan is a story from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus seduced/raped, Leda in the form of a swan.

In the sixteenth-century the Leda and the Swan theme became quite popular in art, as it was considered more acceptable to depict a woman in the act of copulation with a swan rather than with a man.

Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo both used the Leda and the Swan theme in their paintings. Interestingly both painting have been lost, believed deliberately destroyed whilst in the collection of the French Royal Family. A sad end by moralistic widows it is thought.

Correggio's famous Renaissance painting also met with an unfortunate fate. Whilst the painting was in the possession of  Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (a member of the royal family of France) his son Louis, who was a little mad, went to work on Leda with a knife. Though repaired, full restoration was not possible. 

There is a life-sized marble statue of Leda and the Swan at the Jai Vilas Palace Museum in Gwalior, Northern Madhya Pradesh, India.


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