Acrisius King of Argos locked his fair daughter Danae up in an impenetrable undergound shaft after the oracle prophesied he would be killed by his grandson. The King underestimated the lusty Jupiter who found his way down the pit as a shower of gold light or rain and as a result Perseus was born, the grandson destined to carry out the lugubrious prophecy.
This pleasantly erotic subject has been interpreted by scores of artists from Ancient Greece to Picasso. Some paintings seem to suggest that Danae and sometimes her handmaiden who is seen gathering gold coin rather than raindrops in an apron, are more interested in the monetary value of the golden shower: gold and sex, an ancient partnership. Klimt’s version is particularly charged as it does not appear to be interested at all in the pecuniary, but rather shows the princess seemingly enjoying the experience. I based my Danae loosely on his although I preferred a view from above: a Jupiter’s eye view, Deus cum macchina.
Danae’s prison is in fact Saint Patrick’s well in Orvieto.
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