Tiziano Vecellio, detto Tiziano
Oil painting on canvas
the fascinating and sensual myth of Danae, daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos, to whom oracle had predicted death at the hands of a nephew, is narrated. To make it unreachable and thus prevent his daughter from procreating, Acrisius had chosen to enclose it in a bronze tower. But Jupiter, transformed into a rain of gold, joined the woman and from the union was born Perseus, the mythical slayer of the Medusa. The myth of Danae becomes a pretext for Titian to create one of the most natural female figures of the sixteenth century. The young woman, whose face is probably portrayed Angela, the cardinal's lover, softly lying on a white sheet, placidly welcomes the golden cloud that materializes in a shower of coins, perhaps an allusion to the profession of a courtesan. The rarefied atmosphere makes the white meats of Danae and Cupid even more natural, with shadows soaked in color that turn on the bodies in gentle and gradual chiaroscuro transitions. Titian, having begun the painting in Venice, probably finished it in his Roman studio at the Belvedere Palace in the Vatican where, in 1545, Michelangelo saw it and, on this very occasion, praised its extraordinary "color", complaining, however, of the lack of design. . Destined for the private rooms of Cardinal Alessandro, the painting, once in Naples, was hit by censorship in 1815, when it was decided to allocate it to the so-called "Cabinet of obscene paintings" of the Royal Bourbon Museum, where the works of "improper subject" were exhibited ".