Sign up


Painting, 1560-th , 129.8×181.2 cm

Description of the artwork «Danae»

"Leased" sometimes called "the most erotic masterpiece by Titian." There are at least five versions of the painting, one of which is kept in the Prado Museum.

Mythological based paintings by Titian

According to the myth, Acrisius, the Greek king of Argos, the Oracle of Delphi declared that it will shift his own grandson, whom in the future will give birth to a king's daughter, beautiful Danae. Frightened by the prophecy, Acrisius imprisoned Danae, her being in the tower, where he doesn't get none of the mortals. The beauty of Danae captivated by Zeus. God of thunder penetrated to her in the form of Golden rain. From this context, was born the hero Perseus.

Five "Danaus" By Titian

The first version of "Danae"Titian wrote in 1544-1545, by order of cardinal Alessandro Farnese, one of the richest men in Italy (according to rumors, the model was the mistress of the cardinal, a famous courtesan nicknamed angel). The picture stored in the Naples, Museum of Capodimonte, and differs from all subsequent versions of the cast of characters: all the rest will be old nurse (or maid). In the first version of the heroine was not: instead, at the feet of Danae is Cupid with wings and bow, which is quite logical, given the lifestyle of a model, which was written picture. And the mythical Golden rain acquires in this regard, quite new shades of meaning.

The second version of "Danae"created about 1553 for the Spanish king Philip II. Here is Cupid's occurs old nurse that Titian will be repeated in all subsequent versions. In many ways, this change has been successful. It allowed Tiziano to enrich the composition of a number of semantic contrasts: youth and old age, beauty and ugliness, the Nude figure and dressed. Subsequently, the "Danae" of Philip II decorated the Royal residence, the Alcazar and Buen Retiro, and after the war for independence in the first half of the NINETEENTH century, king Ferdinand VII gave it to the Duke of Wellington, and now the picture is presented at the residence of Wellington Apsley house (London).

Two more "Danae" – from the collections of the Hermitage(Saint-Petersburg) and Historical and art Museum(Vienna) date back to 1554 and 1564-m, respectively.

The fifth "Danae" stored in the Prado (the reproduction on the left), written between the years 1560-1565. The quality of execution it surpasses replica from St. Petersburg and Vienna. Experts say that of all the versions this offers the greatest degree of eroticism. In other versions of the legs of Danae covers translucent fabric – here it is missing; the facial expression of the heroine with ajar lips not simply shines a calm serenity, as in the other versions – it is close to ecstatic; Danae's hand rests between her thighs, as if facilitating the access to her body Zeus, falling in a rain of gold coins.

Danae and her special, "the Titian" color

Transfer the warm glow of sunset, amplifying the intensity of the erotic paintings, skillful use of Titian tones and color of the antithetical, the rejection sharply marked dividing lines create a natural soft colouring, where the hues seem to shimmer in a special way from penetrating them from the inside of the light, which was called the Titian color.

The place of "Danae" by Titian in the works

Repetition of the same story and the big names of customers testify to the high position which Titian vecelli took in the artistic hierarchy of the period of High Renaissance. Titian was appreciated not only as an unsurpassed master of color, but also as a virtuoso of erotic painting. Tuscan writer of the XVI century Giovanni della Casa says: Danae in the performance of Titian's seductive enough in comparison with its Nude "Venus Of Urbino"it seems a nun.

Author: Anna Yesterday
I like23 To the selection47
About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Nude, Mythological scene

Style of art: Renaissance

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1560-th

Size: 129.8×181.2 cm

Artwork in selections: 47 selections

Other artworks by this artist
All artworks by the artist