Gustav Klimt Danae, c.1907

Klimt's "Danaë" is a great symbolic piece in the Art Nouveau period. Danaë was a popular subject in the early 1900’s for many artists; she was used as the quintessential symbol of divine love, and transcendence. While imprisoned by her father, King of Argos in a tower of bronze, she was visited by Zeus, symbolized here as the golden rain flowing between her legs. Klimt wanted it clear of his depiction in subject's face, body position and clutching fingers, that from this mythical golden stream, Danaë was lost in the grips of complete sexual climax. She is curled in a sumptuous royal purple veil, which refers to her imperial lineage. Sometime after her celestial visitation she gave birth to a son, Perseus, who is cited later in Greek mythology for slaying the Gorgon Medusa and rescuing Andromeda. Danaë was a popular subject of artists of the period, of whom many portrayals were equally as erotic. This Masterwork is currently housed within the Galerie Würthle, in Vienna, Austria.

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A naked red-haired woman curled up and sleeping

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