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Danae

Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

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Rembrandt, 1643

Baroque
oil
canvas
mythological painting

This painting depicts the mythical character of Danae, welcoming Zeus into her bed, and who later bore his son, Perseus. Rembrandt originally used his first wife, Saskia, as the model in the painting, but later replaced her face with the face of his mistress Geertje Dircx. In 1985, a man threw acid on the painting as it hung on display at the Hermitage Museum. He also cut the canvas twice with a knife. The most badly damaged parts of the painting were to the face and hair of Danae, her right arm, and her legs. The entire middle section of the painting was also dripping with a conglomeration of paint spots. Restoration of the painting began the same day, and was finished twelve years later. Then man who threw the acid was later declared insane.

image of Danae