Category:Danae by Titian (Naples)
|Alternative names||Tiziano Vecelli; Tiziano Vecellio|
Italian painter, fresco painter and draughtsman
|Date of birth/death||between 1485 and 1490||27 August 1576|
|Location of birth/death||Pieve di Cadore||Venice|
|Work location||Venice (1498), Ferrara, Mantua, Padua (1511), Milan (1540), Rome (1545–1546), Florence (1546), Augsburg (1548, 1550–1551), Constantinople (today Istanbul) (1555-1557)|
The Danaë is a 1544 painting (oil on canvas, 118.5 x 170 cm), one of several versions by Titian, a painter of the 16th-century Venetian school. It is part of the Farnese Collection in the National Museum of Capodimonte in Naples (inv Q 134), Farnese Gallery. The depicted subject is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses, which tells the story of Danaë, daughter of the king of Argos, Acrisius, who in the painting is accompanied by Eros. In the story, an oracle predicted Acrisius's death at the hands of a future grandchild, and so to prevent his daughter from being impregnated, Acrisius decided to shut her up in a bronze dungeon-like tower (or cave, depending on the translation to English from the Greek). Zeus, however, was infatuated with her and managed to be with her by turning himself into a shower of gold, and of their union was born Perseus, the heroic slayer of Medusa. The painting was intended for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese's private rooms, where Titian's interpretation of the Danaë myth became an excuse for the cleric to enjoy viewing a nude female. One of the more sensual works of the sixteenth century, the lady who posed for the painting is traditionally identified as Angela—one of Cardinal Alessandro's lovers. As Danaë, she is painted with her body in a natural pose nestled in soft gauzy bedding, welcoming the golden cloud that takes the form of a shower of coins, possibly also an allusion to Angela's status as a courtesan. In 1815 the painting became an object of censorship and was moved to the so-called "Cabinet of obscene pictures" of the Royal Bourbon Museum. During World War II, the painting was looted by the Nazis and recovered only after the end of the war.