Pietro da Cortona was one of the principal proponents of the Roman Baroque style. Born into a family of builders and masons in the Tuscan town of Cortona, he became known as both a painter and an architect. As a result of his close association with the Sacchetti family in Rome, Cortona was favoured for important commissions, eventually becoming a central figure in the decorative schemes of Pope Urban VIII. Danae and Jupiter was first attributed to Cortona by Dr. Jorg Merz. Other scholars suggest it is the work of Ciro Ferri, a pupil of Cortona’s. It is thought that the drawing may be related to the stucco decoration of the Palazzo Pitti, commissioned by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. According to classical mythology, Danae, the daughter of King Acrisius of Argos, is told that she will bear a son who will kill her father. To prevent this, King Acrisius locks her away, but through a window facing the skies she attracts the attention of the God Jupiter who disguises himself as a shower of gold and enters her bed chamber. Their union results in the birth of Perseus, who later inadvertently does kill his grandfather. In this drawing we see a nude Danae reclining, her eyes gazing upward toward Jupiter, her servant beside her lifting her apron to catch the falling gold.