Danae is obviously erotic. It show women from Classical myth seduced by the god Jupiter. The sleeping figure of Danae coils up to meet a fall of golden rain that symbolizes Jupiter. The parted lips and legs, the closed eyes, the rolled-down stocking on her ankle, the red hair and diaphanous purple veil are all indicative of Danae's sensual experience. Nearly a quarter of the picture surface is taken up by Danae's thighs, which makes this a highly erotic works.
The drawings for the painting is more voyeuristic than the finished works. Klimt asked his models to pose in these revealing positions and drew them with simple, clear outlines. The ornament and rich colouring of the painted versions serve to distract the viewer's attention slightly from the exposed pose of the women.