Apollo and Daphne

Apollo and Daphne
Photo by: Int3gr4te Creative Commons
Artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Year 1622–25
Medium Marble
Location Galleria Borghese, Rome
Dimensions 96 in (243 cm)
Gian Lorenzo Bernini Artworks
Apollo and Daphne
Ecstasy of Saint Teresa
Bust of Louis XIV
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Complete Works

The life sized sculpture of Apollo and Daphne is a hand carved statue that was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The statue presents both a partially nude woman who tries to flee her pursuer. With arms outstretched above and before her. Her uplifted and tilted face is slightly obscure as she slowly transforms into a tree before Apollo’s eyes. Just behind her is Apollo who has been struck by Cupid’s love arrow. Struck by Daphne’s beauty he runs after her trying without success to gain her favor.

Forbidden Love

Apollo and Daphne is a very graphic sculpture that was created in 1622-1625 by an Italian artist by the name of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The sculpture shows the immense masterful craftsmanship of Bernini as he painstakingly recreates the apex of the story behind Phoebus and Daphne. A love that is destined never to be, can be no more than an epic tragedy.

A Beautiful Laurel Tree

The life size sculpture tells the story of the Metamorphoses by Ovid. In the story a Nymph who is the daughter of a river God called Peneus has been struck with a love shielding arrow. Apollo, struck by one of Cupid’s love arrows is quite taken by her beauty and is overpowered by a strong uncontrollable yearning for her. Knowing he must have her for himself, he sets out to win her attention.

However, Daphne does not welcome him and desperately tries to escape Apollo’s advances. She urgently implores her father to either take away her spellbinding beauty or change her body into an unappealing figure. Before Apollo’s eyes and before her words had ceased the beautiful Daphne slowly enters a hibernation state and begins to change. Enfolding her breasts is a very thin covering of bark, her arms become branches that gently sway in the breeze, her beautiful long golden mane takes the look of moving leaves hiding her face behind them and her feet ever moving were quickly stilled and rooted to the ground. Apollo, slender, young and smitten by the love arrow proclaims that for as long as he remains young and with uncut hair she will forever more illustrate the evergreen of foliage. The laurel Daphne moved her arms of tree branches in acquiesce.

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