In Greek mythology, Danaë was a daughter of King Acrisius of Argos and his wife Queen Eurydice. She was the mother of the hero Perseus by Zeus. She was sometimes credited with founding the city of Ardea in Latium during the Bronze Age.
Danaë became a popular subject in the early 1900s for many artists; she was used as the quintessential symbol of divine love, and transcendence.
Disappointed by his lack of male heirs, Acrisius asked an oracle if this would change. The oracle told him that he would be killed by his daughter's son. She was childless and, meaning to keep her so, he shut her up in a bronze tower or cave. But Zeus came to her in the form of golden rain, that streamed in through the ceiling and down into her womb. Soon after, their child Perseus was born.
Titian and his workshop produced at least five versions of the painting, which vary to degrees. The dog resting at Danaë's side is absent in some versions, while her companion is a god in some and a haggish nursemaid in others. In all, Danaë is a depicted as a voluptuous figure. Her legs are open in all, with her left leg arched; this being a central painterly motif in each. More
In the background is a servant, clearly taken from a painting by Titian, which captures the gold coins in her dress. The clothing and headscarves of the maid contrast with Danae's nakedness, which is framed by the long golden tresses falling along her arm.
Artemisia was not yet twenty years old when she completed this painting. More
In this work, the servant is not an old woman, and for Danae, the painter used Veronica Franco, poet and Venetian courtesan as a model. The young servant is focused on a specific task: to collect the falling money. A striking element of the work is the dog asleep in the lower left corner, traditionally a symbol of conjugal fidelity, such as in the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck . In the picture, where Zeus commits adultery with the wife, the dog has a somewhat ironic tone.
Tintoretto frequently resorted to the archetypal female blond woman in his mythological works and the Old Testament , as shown in this painting. More