Danae (1554) by Titian

Danae - Titian - 1554

Artwork Information

Dimensions135 x 152 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Danae

The artwork “Danae,” created by the renowned artist Titian in 1554, is a seminal piece from the Mannerism movement within the Late Renaissance period. Executed in oil on canvas, it measures 135 by 152 centimeters. This mythological painting is part of the permanent collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

“Danae” captures a moment from classical mythology wherein Danae, a figure of exquisite beauty and grace, is visited by Zeus, who, according to the myth, appears to her in a shower of gold. The painting depicts Danae reclined, her body forming a relaxed yet dynamic diagonal across the canvas. Her nudity is portrayed with a sensual softness that is heightened by the sumptuous drapery and the rich color palette characteristic of Titian’s work.

To the right side, an elderly figure, often interpreted as Danae’s nursemaid, is seen holding out a cloth, seemingly attempting to catch the golden shower—an allegory for the union between Danae and Zeus. This juxtaposition of youth and age, along with the contrast of human frailty and divine power, creates a narrative tension within the artwork.

The use of chiaroscuro, the interplay between light and shadow, is masterfully employed to draw attention to the curvature of Danae’s form and to the divine source of the golden light. The detailed rendering of textures—from the softness of the skin to the shimmering gold and the textures of the fabrics—demonstrates Titian’s virtuosity in handling the medium of oil paint.

Overall, “Danae” is a quintessential representation of Mannerist art, showcasing sophisticated techniques and a complex engagement with classical themes that engage the viewer both emotionally and intellectually.

Other Artwork from Titian

More Mannerism (Late Renaissance) Artwork

Scroll to Top