Recognized world masterpiece Rembrandt - painting "Danae" - in 1985, was subjected to an act of vandalism.
One of the Hermitage's visitors first poured sulfuric acid on it, and then cut it with a knife. The damage was so great that experts doubted the success of the restoration work.
However, the professionalism of the restorers helped to restore Rembrandt's masterpiece.
History of the painting
At the time of the creation of the picture "Danae" - in 1636 -Harmens van Rijn Rembrandt was already the most famous master in Holland. This picture reproduces an episode of the famous ancient Greek myth of Danae, the daughter of the Argos king Acrisius, to whom the Oracle predicted death by the hand of his grandson. To avoid death, Akrisii imprisoned Danai in a copper tower guarded by ferocious dogs. However, this did not stop Zeus. He penetrated the tower with a golden rain, and Danae gave birth to Perseus' son.
Rembrandt in his painting depicted the momentPenetration into the temple of Zeus in the form of golden rain. The perfection of composition and the richness of the picture, sustained in golden shades of colors, are striking. In this work there is nothing superfluous, every detail is thought out by the author. With the help of a live and free swab the master transmits the lightness of the veil, the folds of heavy curtains and draperies. Perfectly lit by the soft light of the flexible body of a young woman. The whole image of Danais fascinates viewers with charm, freshness and deep sensuality.
As a model, Rembrandt was posed by his dearly beloved wife Saskia van Eilenburg, whom he also immortalized in his masterpieces such as Flora and Self-Portrait with Saskia on His Knees.
The act of vandalism
June 15, 1985 in the Hermitage together with an excursionThe man came. In one of the halls where the "Danae" was exhibited, he asked the museum attendant which of the paintings was the most valuable. Then he went to the "Danae", took out a bottle from under the jacket and threw out all its contents on the canvas. Immediately the paint in the picture was bubbling and began to change color. As experts later found out - the sulfuric acid was in the bottle. But this was not enough for the attacker, he took a knife from his pocket and twice slashed the picture.
Vandal was 48-year-old Lithuanian citizen BroniusMaygis. He explained his act with political motives. However, the court found him mentally ill (he was diagnosed as a sluggish schizophrenia). Bronius Maigis was placed in a Leningrad psychiatric hospital, where he spent 6 years. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Maygis was sent to a Lithuanian psychiatric hospital, where he was soon released.
Restoration of the "Danae" lasted for 12 long years. The best restorers of the country were brought to work. In 1997, the picture again took its place in the exposition of the Hermitage. Now the "Danay" is protected by armored glass.