Danaë: The Black Death Or Bubonic Plague

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In this essay, I will be discussing the oil on canvas painting “Danaë” and how it relates to my final project topic: the Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, in Sicily, Italy. This Renaissance piece was done by the Italian painter Titian, also known as Tiziano Vecelli, and his workshop sometime after 1554 and somewhere in Italy that is unknown. Although both the Black Death and “Danaë” were both from Medieval times, they were two centuries apart. How, then, could they possibly have anything to do with each other? Well, after the plague died down, the rise of the Renaissance sprang up in Italy and spread throughout Europe. Many historians believe that the Black Death was actually a large catalyst for the Renaissance with the commissioning of artists…show more content…
Culturally, most of Europe had lost their belief in religion to due the incredible death toll the Plague brought upon Europe and the fact that their religion wasn’t saving them from the all the death surrounding them. However, when the Renaissance hit, everyone slowly started gaining their faith back and religion actually became a huge inspiration in Renaissance art. Greek mythology also became a fascinating subject and extremely popular among artists. “Danaë” was painted to tell the Greek mythological story of Zeus coming to “Danaë” in the form of a shower of gold coins and making love to her in her locked room. Her father, King Acrisius, had been warned that he would be killed by his daughter’s son if she bore a child. This prophecy eventually came into fruition when years later, her son Perseus killed his grandfather to take his throne. This painting is one of the most treasured erotic paintings put out during the Renaissance Era with lots of symbolism and is displayed in the Chicago Art Institute. It is also a public piece, like most Renaissance paintings are, done to show the beauty in greek mythology and tell a story. “Danaë” is practically a symbol of how much the Renaissance had changed Europe after the plague and brought everyone’s spirits back from the grave, figuratively speaking. Comparing the style from Medieval times to modern art, there are a lot of differences. Not many artists focus on religion and mythology, but instead abstract art and art relating to societal issues and

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