Many deities have metamorphosed to achieve their ends. In all, the prize certainly return to Zeus. To win Danae, the god turns into a golden rain. It is precisely the story that tells a sculpture that will be offered for sale on October 25th.
The changing face of Zeus are in the history of art a perfect pretext for the representation of the naked woman. Indeed what can be better than to use the mythological story to show nudity with impunity?
In paintings of the XVIth and XVIIth centuries, it is not uncommon to find Zeus transformed alongside a lovely young woman ... sometimes transformed into a swan to seduce Leda, now into a bull to seduce Europe. Its metamorphosis into a shower of gold is itself much rarer.
Danae and the golden rain: a very rare subject in sculpture
The story tells that an oracle predicted that Acrisios would be killed by his grandson, he locked his daughter Danae into a tower with bronze gates, and guarded by fierce dogs. But Despite these precautions, Zeus managed to visit her in turning into a shower of gold. From their union comes Perseus.
This iconographic theme popular with Italian and French painters from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, remains a rare sculpture theme.
A French school on sale soon
The white marble sculpture which will be auctioned on October 25th by the auction house Philocale with the expertise of Cedric Henon and Laurent Hache, is particularly interesting in that respect.
Danae is represented naked, right hand open to receive the divine rain. Looking more closely, we discover next to the sex goddess, in the folds of the cloth, gold coins (reminder of divine metamorphosis).
With some restorations to the fingers of one hand and on one foot, this sculpture (Lot No. 189 of the sale) is characteristic of the style in force in France circa 1700, it is reasonably estimated €6,000 to €9,000.
For more information:
When: Saturday, October 25 at 14:30
Specialist: Cabinet Authenticité
Where: Domaine de la Fontaine, 1379 rue de la Reine Blanche, 45160 Olivet
Viewing: Friday, October 24 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, October 25 from 10:30 to 12:00
Online catalogue: HERE