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Peter Paul Rubens
Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus (Lida & Cupid awaiting the Swan Zeus)



"Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus" ("Lida and Cupid awaiting the Swan Zeus"), circa 1760. French Old Master Oil Painting on Original  Canvas,  circa 1760.  Suiveur de Peter Paul Rubens. (Follower of Peter Paul Rubens) The concept of "Lida and the Swan" ("Leda and the Swan")is an oft-repeated theme of Greek mythology.  In Greek mythology, Leda was daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, and wife of king Tyndareus of Sparta. Zeus, of course, was the god of the sky and thunder, and the ruler of the gods of Mount Olympus. Lida  was the beautiful queen of Sparta, the wife of King Tyndareus.  The god Zeus, besotted by Leda's beauty, determined to possess her, and took on the form of a large swan.  The swan, Zeus, was pursued by an eagle, and took refuge in the arms of Leda.  Zeus wasted little time in completing the seduction. Their consummation, on the same night as Lida lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched Helen (later known as the beautiful "Helen of Troy"), Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux.   Zeus later commemorated the birth of Helen by creating the constellation Cygnus the Swan, in the sky. She was the mother of Helen of Troy,  and Castor and Pollux. The myth of "Lida and the Swan"  gave rise to the popular art  motif from ancient times through the Italian  Renaissance and later .   "Lida and the swan" was a popular subject in ancient art, and has even been found in ancient Roman mosaics. The theme has been frequently repeated throughout art history , in both painting and sculpture.   "Lida and the Swan" was a  legendary  painting by Leonardo da Vinci now lost and most likely destroyed. The 1700's Old Master Oil Painting offered today, "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus,"is a magnificent example of the classical portrayal of the myth. Art historians define the term "Suiveur de" ("Follower of") as "in our opinion, a work by a painter working in the artist's style, contemporary to nearly contemporary, but not necessarily his pupil."   I have as yet been unable to locate a signature on "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus," thus I offer the painting as "Suiveur de" Peter Paul Rubens." Versions of "Leda and the Swan" have been rendered by many of the art world's Old Masters, including Peter Paul Rubens, Michelangelo, Correggio, Giulio Campagnola, Francois Boucher,  Hendrick Jansz Terbrugghen, and numerous others, now seen in the world's leading museums. In more recent times, the theme of "Leda and the Swan" has  been portrayed by Paul Cezanne and Salvadore Dali. As recently as 2007, Cy Twombly produced a version of the tale of Leda and the Swan. "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus," offered today, is a wonderful example of the work of an Old Master. It remains painted on the original canvas, and has never been re-lined. I personally acquired "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus" hanging in an antique chateau in the south of France, where it had rested for centuries, provenance of a noble family. The viewer of "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne" observes Cupid, the god of love, identified by his quiver of arrows, at the side of the beautiful reclining Lida.  In the right background, the god Zeus, having taken on the guise of a swan, is leaving his heavenly chariot, and descending to his amorous meeting with Leda. "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus" represents unmatched opportunity to acquire a superb and ancient Old Master oil painting of most rare and unusual beauty. The works of the Old Masters are, of course, increasingly difficult to find and have enjoyed a correspondingly steady rise in prices. Nevertheless, they represent a much more sound investment than the fluctuations of today's financial markets.  One can sleep much more soundly with an Old Master painting on the wall than a rapidly-declining stock market portfolio represents a marvelous opportunity to acquire a museum-quality original Italian Old Master oil painting at a most modest price of acquisition. The list of recognized Old Masters is rather long, and includes such names as: Guido Reni, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, El Greco,  Meindert Hobbema , Caravaggio, Rembrandt van Rijn, Nicolas Poussin, Johannes Vermeer, Joshua Reynolds and numerous others.    "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus" has recently been acquired in the  south of France,  via a long-established dealer of unquestioned standing. Prior to the present,  "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus " had hung for generations in the chateau of a noble family. "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus," offered today, measures 38 1/2 inches x 33 inches framed, and 29 1/4 inches x 24 inches unframed.    Truly, "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus" is a rare antique oil painting.  An unmatched opportunity to acquire a museum-quality painting at a reasonable price. Gilt antique frame is massive, heavy and a thing of beauty in itself. Please write with any questions or comments regarding  "Lida et Cupidon en attente le cigne Zeus." My main stock in trade are original antique oil paintings.  I specialize in fine 17th through 20th century, Old Master, Academic and Orientalist paintings.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 33 in. x W 38.5 in.

    H 83.82 cm x W 97.79 cm

  • Gallery location
    Arles, FR
  • Reference number
  • Seller reference number
    # 0004

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