Danae by Rembrandt

Oil on canvas
Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Depicting the story of a character from Greek mythology, Danae, this is a richly appointed scene. In the tale, Danae’s father, King Akrisios, after receiving a prophecy that his daughter will have a son who will kill him seduces the young woman. Zeus appears to Danae as a ray of golden light, slipping past her maidservant. Danae and Zeus have a son, Perseus, and he does indeed kill his grandfather.

Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Born: 15 July 1606, Leiden, Netherlands
Nationality: Dutch
Died: 4 October 1669, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rembrandt’s life and work were fuelled by an intense psychological study of people, objects, and their surroundings and a strong Christian devotion. Incredibly gifted, Rembrandt became a master of portraiture, historical, mythological, and biblical sense from a very young age. His techniques and use of materials was sensitive and spontaneous. His everchanging approach to colour, composition, and shadow produced powerfully moving and natural moments of the human existence. His mastery of light and texture emphasized emotional depth weaved a common theme through all his work confirming his status as one of art’s greatest and innovative masters.

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