ProvenanceJJ Brookings Gallery, California
Private Collection, California
ExhibitionMel Ramos: 50 Years of Superheros, Nudes, and Other Pop Delights: June – October 2012, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California
Beauty and the Beast: October 2013 – December 2014, Museum Bildenden Kuenste, Leipzig, Germany
LiteratureRamos, M., Shields, S. A., Keats, J., Daniels, D. L., & Crocker Art Museum. (2012). Mel Ramos: 50 years of superheroes, nudes, and other pop delights. San Francisco: Modernism Inc. p. 45-46
Ramos, M., In Levy, T., & Gardner, B. G. (2016). M...More...el Ramos: Catalogue raisonne of the paintings 1953-2015
Beauty and the Beast: October 2013 – December 2014, Museum Bildenden Kuenste, Leipzig, Germany ill. Back Cover
Leta and the Hill Myna diverges from some of Ramos’ other nudes. Here Ramos depicts his wife, whom he spoke of as his greatest muse. Like his works depicting superheroes, Leta and the Hill Myna is imbued with mythos and lore. Myna birds are native to South Asia where some are taught to speak, often to recite religious. Furthermore, playing on his wife’s name and the avian theme, Ramos is referencing the famous tale of Leda and the Swan in which Zeus embodies a bird to rape Leda. The story has been reinterpreted throughout history, including by great artists such as Paul Cezanne, Cy Twombly and Fernando Botero. With this depiction, Ramos places himself in that same art historical lineage.