This statue was also modelled on a famous masterpiece, which was probably created by Timotheos, whom ancient tradition regarded – besides Kephisodotos – as one of the greatest sculptors of his day. His statue represented Leda embracing the swan (ca. 375–360). The bird was Zeus in disguise, whose union with Leda resulted in the birth of the Dioskouroi and Helen, the heroine of the Trojan war, and perhaps also of Klytaimnestra, the wife of Agamemnon.
More than thirty copies of the statue are known from Hellenistic and Roman times (their date varies between the 2nd century BC and the 2nd century AD), most of which closely follow Timotheos’s model. The sculptor of the Budapest piece, however, chose a new path: although in many details he did imitate the statue of Leda, the swan was replaced with a large water jar (now lost). He connected his piece to a water pipe, turning the famous Greek work into a fountain statue. The Leda of Timotheos raised her right hand to cover the swan with her mantle. But the figure of the Budapest statue held the jar with both hands: the representation of myth thus became a genre scene befitting its function. The statue probably stood in a Roman garden.