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Danae

Painting, 1636, 185×202.5 cm

Description of the artwork «Danae»

Beautiful Saskia, a young wife of Rembrandt, whom he married in 1634, became for him not only a life companion but also a Muse. Love the artist writes their best paintings, and one of them — "Danae", a famous painting by Rembrandt with a difficult history.

The story from Greek mythology, tells about the love of Zeus for the beautiful daughter of king Acrisius, was popular among Rembrandt to modern artists. According to legend, the king received from the Oracle the prophecy that the cause of his death will be a grandson, and to avoid this fate, he ordered the closure of his daughter in an underground mansion, where he was denied access to outsiders. However, this did not save him: Zeus, enchanted Danae, turned into Golden rain and entered the cave. From this Union was born Perseus, subsequently sung by Homer in the Iliad. The painting is Rembrandt's "Danae" depicts the moment of the Olympic God in the secret bedchamber of a girl.

To create this masterpiece, the artist used soft warm shades from Golden yellow to brown. In the foreground we can see a luxurious bed with reclining on him with Dan. The girl just woke up, awakened by the events, she looks in the direction whence comes the shining gold, covering outstretched her eyes from the blinding light. Because the canopy looks the old woman-servant, and at the head of the alcove you can see the image of Eros, whose face expresses suffering, but hands are tied — the symbol of "forced chastity".

For him, Rembrandt's "Danae" was important: the picture was written not to order, but for themselves. In the middle of the last century with the help of x-rays art historians have found the evidence that the artist worked on the canvas. In the original version of the eyes of the women facing up, like the palm of his outstretched hand. In addition, in the first embodiment, the Rembrandt's "Danae" the woman's face was written with Saskia, but after her death the artist has slightly changed his features so that they reminded him of Saskia, and his new lover Gertie deeks.

In 1656 the property of the artist was sold for debts. The location of the paintings was unknown before the eighteenth century, its owner was French collector Pierre Crozes. In 1772, at the request of Catherine II painting by Rembrandt, "Danae" was purchased from the heirs of the collector and placed in the Hermitage.

In the summer of 1985 a resident of Lithuania bronys Magic splashed on a picture of sulfuric acid, which he brought with him to the Hermitage, then took out a knife and stabbed two of the cutting stroke on the canvas. In place of getting acid paint went bubbles and streaks, the upper layers of the soil has been damaged. Losses amounted to about 27%, hope for the restoration of the masterpiece was very small, but the result of hard work of restorers, which lasted 12 years, the canvas was able to recover as close as possible to the author's style. Today the painting is exhibited in the Hermitage under the protection of armored glass.
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Nude, Mythological scene, Literary scene

Style of art: Baroque, The Golden age of Holland

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1636

Size: 185×202.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 28 selections

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