Watercolor on paper
34 x 21 cm.
"The theme of 'sacred marriage' or as he himself called it the 'consecration', first appeared in his work with Leda, about 1865, at the same time as the Orpheus theme. An uncompleted version in oil and tempera of Leda in the Musée Gustave Moreau, which the critic Jean Laran described as 'one of Moreau's most supple and most graceful nudes', should be compared with the painter's own commentary: 'The god manifests himself, thunder rolls, earthly love flees afar. The swan-king, with his sombre expression, lays his head on the head of the white figure, completely withdrawn into herself in the hieratic pose of the humble initiate receiving divine consecration. Immaculate whiteness beneath divine whiteness. The incantation is consummated, the god penetrates and is incarnated in this pure The mystery is accomplished.'"