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Leda and the Swan

© the estate of Karl Weschke. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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Karl Weschke, born in Germany, came to England as a prisoner-of-war in 1945 and settled there three years later. His work has an emotional power often concerned with the forces of nature, sensuality and the memory of intense visual experiences. In the classical myth of Leda and the swan, the god Zeus, disguised as a swan, seduced the wife of the king of Sparta. In Weschke's austere and strongly designed painting, Leda is no innocent victim of the god's disguise and the work is tense with sexual aggression.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery





oil on canvas


H 183 x W 137 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Arnolfini Collection Trust, the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of Bristol Art Gallery, 1994

Work type



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Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

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