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Pompeii dig reveals erotic Leda and Swan fresco
World | culture | 14:22, 21 November 2018 | 709

AKIPRESS.COM - Archaeologists at Pompeii have found an erotic Roman fresco depicting Leda and the Swan - a Greek myth that has inspired artists for centuries, BBCreports.

The latest find is believed to have decorated a bedroom in a wealthy home near the ancient city centre.

Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the 1st century AD. The new find is on Via del Vesuvio, in the site's Regio V area.

In the myth, the god Zeus turned into a swan and raped Leda, Queen of Sparta.

That event had huge consequences, according to classical mythology: Leda's intercourse with the swan and then with her husband, King Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs, from which hatched Helen, Clytemnestra and the twins Castor and Pollux.

The swan's seduction of Leda was a potent subject for artists in Renaissance Italy in the 16th Century: it inspired paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Tintoretto, and many other artworks.

The original works by Leonardo and Michelangelo are missing, but copies are on display in galleries.

Leda and the Swan is also a classic poem by William Butler Yeats, a major figure in 20th-Century literature.

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