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Frieze Fragment with Leda and the Swan

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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.
MEDIUM Limestone, painted
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)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 55.2.1
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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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_detail04_ICA.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (in collaboration with Index of Christian Art, Princeton University), 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (70%)
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