I went into an antique shop the other day. One of those Harry Potter Room of Requirement type places with things stacked to the ceiling and hidden in every nook and cranny. There was some legitimate antiques, some new things disguised as antiques, and just some plain old junk.
After about 45 minutes to an hour I had combed the entire 750 square foot store. In the back room, on a chair, behind two other framed pieces, I found this etching:
For those of you who don’t know the tale of Leda and the Swan, here is my blog version.
Zeus, the god of, well, everything, felt very entitled to have sex with whomever he wished. One day, he spotted Leda, thought she was cool and wanted to do her. Leda said no, because she was married. So, did Zeus back off? No! Here’s what he thought would be a good plan.
Zeus turned himself into a swan, arranged to get himself chased by an eagle, all in front of Leda, who was apparently an animal rescuer and defended swan Zeus from the eagle. I guess, as a gesture of thanks, he had his way with her and from this union Leda bore Helen of Troy.
Anyway, this is my take on the story Wikipedia has a lot more details and of course endless links, but the following quote is my favorite part of their description: “The subject undoubtedly owed its sixteenth-century popularity to the paradox that it was considered more acceptable to depict a woman in the act of copulation with a swan than with a man.”
I’m sorry, what was that again?
“The subject undoubtedly owed its sixteenth-century popularity to the paradox that it was considered more acceptable to depict a woman in the act of copulation with a swan than with a man.”
Considering my project here, and the many swans that inhabit the canal than runs through the Red Light District, I brought this etching home with me.