Collections: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art: Frieze Fragment with Leda and the Swan

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    55.2.1_PS2.jpg 55.2.1_bw.jpg CUR.55.2.1_unearthing_coptic.jpg CUR.55.2.1_ICA.jpg CUR.55.2.1_detail05_ICA.jpg CUR.55.2.1_detail04_ICA.jpg CUR.55.2.1_detail03_ICA.jpg CUR.55.2.1_detail02_ICA.jpg CUR.55.2.1_detail01_ICA.jpg

    Frieze Fragment with Leda and the Swan

    The walls of both pagan and Christian tombs were decorated with friezes, usually composed of twined stems forming loops, which typically enclosed animals. The largest piece here, an unusually fine example, shows predators, possibly a boar and a hyena, chasing an antelope and perhaps a dog. These chases continued to the right, where traces of what may be a spotted leopard remain. Two plant loops on a smaller relief enclose fruits and a fanciful animal. Rather different are two parts of a frieze that featured naked women lounging in front of large plants. The figures have been repainted, but the bird held by one of them must depict the swan form in which the god Jupiter seduced Leda. Thus this frieze must have decorated a pagan monument.

    This text refers to these objects: ' 55.2.2; 55.2.1; 41.1266; 68.150.2

    • Medium: Limestone, painted
    • Place Made: Egypt, Provenance unknown
    • Dates: 4th-5th century C.E., with 20th century alterations
    • Period: Late Antique Egyptian Period
    • Dimensions: 8 13/16 x 12 1/16 x 3 1/16 in. (22.4 x 30.7 x 7.8 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 55.2.1
    • Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Frieze Fragment with Leda and the Swan, 4th-5th century C.E., with 20th century alterations. Limestone, painted, 8 13/16 x 12 1/16 x 3 1/16 in. (22.4 x 30.7 x 7.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 55.2.1. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: detail, CUR.55.2.1_detail02_ICA.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (in collaboration with Index of Christian Art, Princeton University), 2007
    • Record Completeness: Good (70%)
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