Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Danaë and the Golden Shower


Danaë is another of Zeus's conquests. Ovid writes that "he stole fair Dánaë's love in a shower of gold;" (Metamorphoses, 6.113). 
An oracle warned Danaë's father, Acrisius, that he would be killed by his grandson. As Danaë was his only child and childless herself he locked her up in a bronze room, tower, cave (take your pick) in order to prevent the prophecy from coming true. He didn't count on old Zeus getting a bit hot under the collar for her.
Zeus transformed himself, as he is so fond of doing, into a shower of gold. He came in through the roof and made a beeline for Danaë's lap. The result was the demigod hero Perseus, you may know him from such films as 'Clash of the Titans' and 'Wrath of the Titans'.
Acrisius, of course, found out and had both Danaë and her son locked in a chest and set out to sea. A very round about way of killing people if you ask me. They survived and Perseus went on to do many great and heroic things, including killing his grandfather (take that Acrisius).

Most images of Danaë are of her and the golden shower, but I will start with one by Michael Parkes of Danaë waiting at the top of her tower for her golden lover to arrive.

Danaë by Michael Parkes, 1992.

Danaë and the Shower of Gold by Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, 1787.

Danaë by Alexandre Jacques Chantron, 1891.

Danaë by Alexandre Jacques Chantron.

Mademoiselle Lange as Danaë by Girodet Trioson, 1799.

Danaë by Antonio Belluci, 1700-1705.

Danaë by Artemisia Gentileschi, 1612.

The Eagle Ashamed by Carl August Ehrensvärd, 1745-1800.

Danaë by Carolus Duran, c. 1900.

Danaë by Correggio, 1530.

Danaë by Egon Schiele, 1909.

Danaë sous londee dor by Eugene Soubiran.

Danaë, Anonymous, 18th Century German.

Danaë, Anonymous, 17th Century.

Danaë, 450-425 BC.

Danaë in the Brazen Chamber by Frederick Sandys.

Jupiter and Danaë by Giambattista, 1736.

Danaë by Gustav Klimt, 1907-1908.

Danaëby Henri Fantin-Latour.

Danaë by Jacob van Loo, 1640-1670.

Danaë by Jan Gossaert, 1527.

Danaëby Leon Francois Comerre.

Danaë by Michael Najjar, 2006-2008

Danaë by Orazio Gentileschi, c. 1621.

Danaë by Rembrandt, 1636.

Danaë by Serban Chelariu, 2004.

Danaë  by Tintoretto, 1580.

Danaë with a Nurse by Titian, 1553-1554.


And to finish things off, John  William Waterhouse's interpretation of Danaë and Perseus being encase in the chest.

Danaë by John William Waterhouse, 1892.

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