REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)


Oil on canvas, 165 x 203 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Catalogue number: Bredius 474.

Mythological subject. Danaë, the daughter of king Acrisius, who had been foretold peril from the hand of his grandson, was placed in a tower, under the care of her old nurse. Zeus (Jupiter) anamoured of Danaë penetrated to her in the shape of a golden shower of rain.

Rembrandt executed this painting in 1636, but later he revised it twice as shown by the X-ray investigations. In spite of these revisions the painting remained a homogeneous composition.

Danaë is frequently represented in Renaissance and Baroque painting. You can view other depictions of Danaë in the Web Gallery of Art.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 5 minutes):
Richard Strauss: Danaë's Love, Danaë's monologue