Leda and the swan
ⓒRebecca Bugge, All Rights Reserved
Do not use without permission.
Roman mosaic from the later part of the second century A.D.
More about the myth behind the motif, can be found here: dameboudicca.blogspot.com/2009/07/pop-culture-woman-of-we...
British museum was founded in 1753, much due to the will of Sir Hans Sloane, who in his lifetime had made an extensive collection of curiosities - as was a habit of the 18th century if you were a well-educated man. This first part of the museum consisted of some 71 000 objects - being everything from natural specimens, prints by Albrecht Dürer and objects from long lost civilisations.
At first the museum was situated at Montague House, but it soon became too crowded there with a whole series of further donations, including the Rosetta Stone and other artifacts from ancient times. In the 19th century the museum was much expanded to house all these objects and to be able to show them to the public. In 1895 the museum bought the 69 houses surrounding the museum, demolished them and expanded the museum.
The natural history collection does not live in the museum now, and the books and manuscript are now held by the British Library - the main focus of the museum now being on cultural history, historical and more modern. It has now a collection of several million objects, covering 54,600 m2 and separated into 94 galleries.