The French Romantic sculptor Jean-Jacques Feuchère was a friend of Charles Baudelaire, Antoine-Louis Barye and Honoré Daumier. An ardent collector and a lover of Renaissance art, he refers in Leda and the Swan to small Italian bronzes and the sensuality of Mannerism, as exemplified by Benvenuto Cellini in particular. Here, Feuchère was inspired by Michelangelo’s famous painting of Leda, a work that disappeared long ago and is known only through copies. Ovid’s Metamorphoses tells the story of the woman who was seduced by Jupiter, in the form of a swan, and who gave birth to the twins Castor and Pollux. This beautiful sculpture is perfectly suited to the Romantic movement, which described passion so well. Feuchère depicts the act of love itself, rather than the traditional scene of Leda being courted by the Swan.