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Core Record

Title Leda and the Swan
Collection English Heritage (Brodsworth Hall)
Artist Attributed to Rocca, Michele (Italian painter, ca. 1670 - ca. 1751)
Previously attributed to circle of Albani, Francesco (Italian painter, 1578-1660)
Previously attributed to Albani, Francesco (Italian painter, 1578-1660)
Date Earliest probably about 1700
Date Latest probably about 1730
Description Michele Rocca, also known as Michele da Parma and Parmigianino the Younger, was born in Parma and specialised in precious, small-scale cabinet pictures of mythological and religious subjects, usually in landscape settings. In this work, Leda is being seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan with two putti behind. The subject is from Greek mythology. Leda was the daughter of Thestios, King of Aetolia, and wife of Tyndareus, King of Sparta. She was loved by Zeus, who is generally said to be the father of three of her children, the twins Castor and Pollux, and Helen.
Current Accession Number 90003584
Subject animal (swan); figure; mythology (Leda and the Swan)
Measurements 20.6 x 16.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Transferred to English Heritage 1990.
Provenance By descent to Pamela Williams; purchased by National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1990.
Publications Dars, C., Catalogue of Paintings in British Collections: English Heritage etc., London, 1993, cat. no. 34, p. 22.

Rocca moved to Rome in 1682, trained under Ciro Ferri (a follower of Pietro da Cortona), and returned to Parma for further study. By 1695 he was back in Rome and, in 1719, joined the Accademia di San Luca, at which he held an official post in 1727. He died possibly in Venice.

The painting was first certainly recorded in the 'boudoir' at Brodsworth Hall in Sotheby's 1980 valuation. The attribution to Rocca was suggested verbally by Clovis Whitfield on the basis of a photograph on 6 July 2004.

Rights Owner English Heritage Photo Library
Author Richard Green



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