Danae by Rembrandt

Danae by Rembrandt
Danae by Rembrandt

This oil on canvas painting in 1636 by the Baroque artist Rembrandt can be seen today at the Hermitage Museum, in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. And it is almost something miraculous that it can be seen today, already in 1985 the fabric suffered a real attack. A spectator went to the museum with sulfuric acid to pour it on the piece, to which he also made several knife cuts. Obviously, the painting suffered serious damage and required a long and slow restoration process that lasted for 12 years, until it was finally shown to the public again as the masterpiece that it is.


Rembrandt's Danae

This is a mythological scene in which we see the prototype of beauty that Rembrandt painted so many times, in works like this one with the beautiful Bathsheba with David's letter. She is a naked, young woman, in which the delicacy of her skin stands out, which becomes a large surface for the painter to show us his talent for playing with light and shadow until they become textures.

Danaewas the daughter of King Acrisio, to whom the oracle predicted that he would be killed precisely because of his grandson born to his daughter. So Ovid's mythological stories tell us in hisMetamorphoses, that the king decided to lock his beautiful daughter in a tower so that she would not have offspring and he could escape from fate of him.

However, the almighty Zeus managed to see such a beauty and did not hesitate to seduce her. For which he was transformed into golden rain that he entered the tower, and evidently ended up falling in love with the girl and impregnating her. His son was Perseus and as the predictions said, he ended the life of his grandfather, although he was unaware of the relationship between the two.

This myth has been represented countless times throughout the history of painting, both before Rembrandt, such as in the Renaissance by Titian and later by theModernism by Klimt. And of course each era has given it not only its aesthetic character but also its interpretation.

And in the case of the great painter of Dutch Baroque it becomes a representation that divine love is a source of purity and is unstoppable. But beyond the story or its interpretation, without a doubt the best thing about this painting is the treatment of light, and like Rembrandt plays with light and darkness in a tiny room with few elements, all of them dominated by the bed and the beautiful naked woman above her.

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