Danaë (Correggio)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Danaë (painting), Correggio

Danäe [1] is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Correggio, executed around 1531 and currently housed at the Galleria Borghese in Rome.

It depicts the maiden as she is impregnated by a curtain of gilded divine rain. Her lower torso semi-obscured by sheets, Danae appears more demure and gleeful than Titian's 1545 version of the same topic, where the rain is more accurately numismatic.


The work was commissioned by the Duke of Mantua Federico II Gonzaga, as a part of a series portraying Jupiter's loves, perhaps destined to the Ovid Room in the Palazzo Te of Mantua. After Federico's death it went to Spain.

In 1584 the painter Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo mentions the canvas in Milan, as part of sculptor Leone Leoni's collection. His son Pompeo Leoni sold it to emperor Rudolph II (1601-1603); later, together with Correggio's Leda, it was brought from Prague to Stockholm as war booty by King Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden. His daughter Christina, after abdicating, brought the canvas with her to Rome. After her death, it was inherited by Cardinal Decio Azzolino, being subsequently owned by Livio Odescalchi, Duke of Bracciano, then by the French regent Philippe II of Orléans.

Together with most of the Orléans family collection, in 1792 it was sold to England, where it was owned by the Duke of Bridgewater and Henry Hope, until, in 1827, it was acquired in Paris by prince Camillo Borghese for his Roman collection.


The painting portrays the Greek mythological figure Danaë, the daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos. After an oracle forecasted that he would be killed by her son, he had her jailed in a bronze tower. However, as told by the Roman poter Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Jupiter reached her in the form of a gold rain and made her mother to Perseus.

Correggio portrays Danaë lying on a bed, while a child Eros undresses her as gold rains from a cloud. At the foot of the bed, two putti are testing against a stone gold and leda arrows.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Danaë (Correggio)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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