About this artwork
Sculptor Constantin Brancusi believed the material with which he worked had its own life, a uniqueness and essence that he had to seek out in order to reveal the form contained within. In Leda, sculptural metamorphosis became the very subject of the work. According to classical mythology, the god Zeus changed into a swan in order to seduce the beautiful Leda. Brancusi explained to visitors to his studio that he chose to transform the transformation—changing Leda, rather than Zeus, into a swan. He explained, “I never could imagine a male being turned into a swan, impossible, but a woman, yes, quite easily.” Brancusi envisioned the form “ceaselessly creating a new life, a new rhythm,” which he enhanced by its circular concrete base, a type that he designed by 1916 and used in various sizes for many different sculptures.
- Constantin Brancusi
- Marble on concrete base
- Marble: 55.9 × 66 × 21.6 cm (22 × 26 × 8 1/2 in.); Circular base: 66 × 121.9 cm (26 × 48 in.) (diameter)
- Bequest of Katherine S. Dreier
- © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris