Leda and the Swan, 1601 by Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens was a well known artist during the Baroque era. He completed hundreds of works in various mediums - many were famous at the time and still are today. But there are also many works of art that people don't know much about. One of these works is his painting Leda and the Swan.
Rubens was heavily influenced by Michelangelo. He was introduced to his work on his journey to Italy. Rubens decided to go to Rome to make copies of paintings and further his studies of Italian art from the leading Italian artists of the previous century, later termed the Renaissance. In Rome, he encountered Michelangelo's version of Leda and the Swan. Even though Michelangelo's version does not exist today, copies of it do. A copy of Michelangelo's original work was done by Rubens. Rubens would have been familiar with Michelangelo's Leda. His version is considered a prototype for Rubens's two works. Rubens's 1601 Leda, was modeled after Michelangelo's Leda. The placement of the body is very similar as is its twisting posture. Even the positioning of the fingers is mirrored. The swan is caressing the female in exactly the same way.