This is Danaë by Rembrandt van Rijn. Danaë is one of the most impressive and attractive pictures by the great Dutch artist. It is also one of the most enigmatic works by Rembrandt. Art historians from different countries have been disputing about the essence and meaning of the picture for almost a century.

The masterpiece has been exhibited in St. Petersburg Hermitage, Russia since the 18th century. But in 1985 the picture was attacked by a madman who poured it over with sulfuric acid and stabbed it twice with a knife. The most significant and delicate parts of the picture were damaged considerably, especially Danaë's figure which is the core element of the painting. The restoration work lasted for more than twenty years, but due to professionalism of restoration artists Danaë was reanimated and now you won't be able to notice any traces of the former damages.

As the myth goes Danaë was an unfortunate daughter of a king, who shut her up in a dungeon. The king was afraid of the prophecy according to which he would be killed by his grandson. For this reason beautiful Danaë was doomed to spend the rest of her life imprisoned. But one day the supreme god Zeus learned about the woman and longed for her. He found his way into the dungeon and appeared to her in the form of golden rain. After this date Danaë had a son, Perseus, who was to become a great hero of ancient Greece. Many other Renaissance painters alluded to this Greek myth, for example Titian, but Rembrandt's masterpiece is the most famous.

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