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  • Gustav Klimt
    Jul 14, 1862 - Feb 6, 1918
  • Danae - Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism - nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil.
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Danae
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  • Danae

  • Gustav Klimt
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  • 1907-08
    Oil on canvas
    77 x 83 cm (30 x 33 in)
    Private collection, Graz.

    Danae is an oil painting by Gustav Klimt, created in 1907. An example of Symbolism, the canvas measures 77 x 83 cm, and is in the Galerie Wurthle in Vienna. Danae was a popular subject in the early 1900s for many artists; she was used as the quintessential symbol of divine love, and transcendence.

    While imprisoned by her father, King of Argos, in a tower of bronze, Danae was visited by Zeus, symbolized here as the golden rain flowing between her legs. It is apparent from the subject's face that she is aroused by the golden stream.

    In this work, she is curled in a royal purple veil which refers to her imperial lineage. Sometime after her celestial visitation she gave birth to a son, Perseus, who is cited later in Greek mythology for slaying the Gorgon Medusa and rescuing Andromeda.

    Many early portrayals of Danae were erotic; other paintings completed in similar style are Klimt's Medicine (1900–1907), and Water Snakes (1904–1907).

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Other paintings by Gustav Klimt:

Judith I
Judith I
The Church in Cassone (Landscape with Cypress)
The Church in Cassone (Landscape with Cypress)
The Park
The Park
Tree of life 1909
Tree of life 1909
Gustav KlimtGustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Austria. He was educated at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe Art School in the years 1879-1883. Klimt was also an honorary member of the Universities of Munich and Vienna. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. His work is distinguished by an elegant use of gold backgrounds and mosaic patterns. This can be seen in Judith I (1901), and in The Kiss (1907). Art historians note an eclectic range of influences contributing to Klimt's distinct style, including Egyptian, Minoan, Classical Greek, and Byzantine inspirations. Klimt was also inspired by engravings of Albrecht Dürer, late medieval European painting, and Japanese Ukiyo-e. Klimt was one of the founding members of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) and of the periodical Ver Sacrum. He left the movement in 1908. He died in Vienna of pneumonia and was interred at the Hietzing Cemetery, Vienna.