The Greek myth of Danaë is one of the most important, profound and therefore one of the most represented in the history of art.

The daughter of the King of Argos and Eurydice (note, not Orpheus’ daughter), it was her father Acrisius who had her imprisoned because of a premonition he had received.

The oracle predicted to Acrisius that he would be killed by his nephew, the son of Danaë, and for this reason he had her imprisoned, so that she would not know a man.

But with myths nothing is predictable, and this is where Zeus comes into play.

Jupiter in fact fell in love with Danaë and found a way to reach her; transformed into a shower of gold, he broke into her cell and joined her.

From this relationship Perseus, the mythical demigod slayer of Medusa, was born.

Legend has it that Danaë ended her days in Italy, and perhaps this is true, given how much her story has been loved and depicted by Italian painters.

Among them, was the artist of our painting, who captured the exact moment when Jupiter transformed himself into the golden rain that would fecundate our Danaë.