Danae is shown lying in a sea of psychedelic fabric, the background ablaze, and her expression conveyed through her eye is one of surprise and weariness. She was the daughter of the King of Argos, Akrisios. He was warned by a prophesier that he would be killed by his grandson who had not yet been conceived. Akrisios immediately locked Danae in a chamber of bronze in an attempt to prevent the prophecy from coming true. However, Zeus entered the chamber in the guise of a golden shower and impregnated Danae. The child would be Perseus.
The painting depicts Danae's reaction to what had occurred after Zeus had departed. She is set against a fiery background to express the nature of the event that had just passed. The realisation of this causes her to reflect upon the consequences and their effect on her future.