Gillis Coignet, Leda and the Swan 01 Paintings, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes # 25

Gillis Coignet

Gillis Coignet, (1542 – 1599)

Leda and the Swan

Oil on oak panel

96.2 x 126 cm.; 37 3/4  x 49 1/2  in.

Private collection

Leda, in Greek legend, usually believed to be the daughter of Thestius, king of Aetolia, and wife of Tyndareus, king of Lacedaemon. She was also believed to have been the mother (by Zeus, who had approached and seduced her in the form of a swan) of the other twin, Pollux, and of Helen, both of whom hatched from eggs. Variant legends gave divine parentage to both the twins and possibly also to Clytemnestra, with all three of them having hatched from the eggs of Leda, while yet other legends say that Leda bore the twins to her mortal husband, Tyndareus. Still other variants say that Leda may have hatched out Helen from an egg laid by the goddess Nemesis, who was similarly approached by Zeus in the form of a swan.The divine swan’s encounter with Leda was a subject depicted by both ancient Greek and Italian Renaissance artists; Leonardo da Vinci undertook a painting (now lost) of the theme, and Correggio’s Leda (c. 1530s) is a well-known treatment of the subject. More Leda and The Swan

Gillis Coignet, Congnet or Quiniet (c. 1542 – 1599) was a Flemish Renaissance painter, who was strongly influenced by the Italian style. He painted historical and mythological subjects of an easel size, but was more successful in landscapes, in candlelight subjects, and moonlight. He was a Lutheran, which probably influenced his moves from Antwerp to Amsterdam and then Hamburg. He spent most of the 1560s in Italy. More on Gillis Coignet

Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine Art, and The Canals of Venice

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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