Measures: 77 x 83 cm
Technique: Oil on canvas
Depository: Privately owned, Austria
Danaë is an oil painting by Gustav Klimt, created in 1907. The canvas measures 77 x 83 cm,
is cataloged as Symbolism (arts)|Symbolism, and is housed in the Galerie Würthle in Vienna. Danaë was a popular subject in the early 1900’s for many artists; she was used as the quintessential symbol of divine love, and Transcendence (philosophy)|transcendence.
While imprisoned by her father, King of Argos, in a tower of bronze, Danaë was visited by Zeus, symbolized here as the golden rain flowing between her legs. It is apparent from the subject's face that she is sexual arousal|aroused by the golden stream.
In this work, she is curled in a sumptuous royal purple veil which refers to her imperial lineage. Sometime after her celestial visitation she gave birth to a son, Perseus, who is cited later in Greek mythology for slaying the Gorgon Medusa and rescuing Andromeda (mythology)|Andromeda.
Many other early portrayals of Danaë were often erotic; other paintings completed in similar style are Klimt’s Medicine (Klimt Painting)|Medicine (1900- 1907), and Water Snakes (1904 – 1907).Payne, Laura. Klimt. Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2004.