Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) 1488/90-1576
Oil on canvas; 120 x 187 cm
This fine painting is one of five by the artist on this subject from Greek mythology. According to myth, Danae was the daughter of the King of Argos, Acrisius. The Oracle predicted that Acrisius would be killed by his daughter's son, so he shut Danae up in a bronze tower, but Zeus, charmed by her beauty, entered the tower in the form of a golden shower and seduced her. Titian endowed the mythological heroine with the features of contemporary Venetian ladies. Her graceful nude body, vividly depicted, contrasts with that of the aged serving woman. Combining warm brown, golden, and pink colours with cool gray and blue tones, Titian manages to create an atmosphere of intimate warmth, sexuality, and joie de vivre.
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