In my journey trough the erotic art of the past I want to have a look at one of the masters of sensuality, Gustav Klimt. Like many other Jugendstil artists young sensual women are one of his mayor subjects, but unlike other Jugendstil artists, Klimt dares to make his women sexual beings.
This is one of the reasons his work was often criticized by the public, and even exhibited behind curtains. The decorative and sensual art of Gustav Klimt is certainly the climax of the Jugendstil in Vienna, maybe even of Europe. His combination of academic painted nudes, loaded with symbolism and ornamental structures is incomparable and a great inspiration for future artists like Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
Gustav Klimt created a lot of erotic paintings and drawings, but maybe the most sensual of them all is the work called, Danae. Danae was the daughter of king Akrisios, he held her imprisoned so she would not get pregnant and get a son, who would kill him, as predicted by the oracle. But the god Zeus came down from the heavens as a golden rain to make love with her. The rest of the story, as with most mythological stories, is an ongoing epos of love, revenge and betrayal.
The work Danae also has reverences to an other great mythological story, the one of Leda and the swan. In this story the god Jupiter comes down as a swan, the only bird with a real penis shaped organ but that’s biology I guess, and has sex with her. That this story of Lada comes in mind with the work Danae is mainly because of the pose of the female, in the past this pose is often used to visualize Lada, and now Klimt use it to create this masterpiece of sensuality.