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Apollo and Daphne
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ebrowne's picture

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Apollo and Daphne is a story about a woman who hated a man so much that she became a tree to avoid having to marry him.

I’ll backtrack a bit. The story of Apollo and Daphne from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book I begins with a pissing contest between Apollo and Cupid. After getting a lil self-esteem booster by defeating Python, Apollo was talking sh*t to Cupid saying, “What are you doing with powerful weapons naughty boy?” Cupid, who may have had retaliation issues, decided to make one arrow of gold and one of lead. He shot the golden one at Apollo and made him fall madly in love with Daphne. He shot the leaden one at Daphne and made her loathe Apollo, which she didn’t really need because she had already pledged herself to a life of virginity. She was more of a sports and wilderness gal than a marriage and babies gal. Daphne’s father, the river god Peneus, resented this decision because he was jonesing for some grandbabies but eventually he was like “K, fine, whatever.”

So Apollo, who really just couldn’t keep it in his pants, chased Daphne all over hell and gone. When he was about to actually catch her, she pleaded with her father saying, “Help me, Peneus! Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger! Let me be free of this man from this moment forward!" He responded by turning her into a laurel tree, for which she was forever grateful.

You would think that her transformation into a tree would be a turn-off but Apollo’s love still burned with the fire of 1000 suns and he vowed to love her despite her form. He also made her evergreen with his powers of youth and immortality. Taking a hint really wasn’t Apollo’s strong suit and Daphne definitely wins the most elaborate escape plan to avoid a creepy dude.

 

Sources

Sources

  1. Harris, Beth, and Steven Zucker. Bernini, Apollo And Daphne. Rome: Khan Academy. Video.
  2. "Apollo And Daphne". Shmoop.com. Web. 12 June 2017.
  3. "Apollo And Daphne". Artble. Web. 12 June 2017.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Apollo and Daphne (Bernini)

Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized Baroque marble sculpture by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1622 and 1625. Housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the work depicts the climax of the story of Apollo and Daphne (Phoebus and Daphne) in Ovid's Metamorphoses.

History

The sculpture was the last of a number of artworks commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, early on in Bernini's career. Apollo and Daphne was commissioned after Borghese had given an earlier work of his patronage, Bernini's The Rape of Proserpina, to Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi.

Much of the early work was done in 1622–23, but a pause, quite possibly to work on the sculpture of David, interrupted its completion, and Bernini did not finish the work until 1625. Indeed, the sculpture itself was not moved to the Cardinal's Villa Borghese until September 1625. Bernini did not execute the sculpture by himself; he had significant help from a member of his workshop, Giuliano Finelli, who undertook the sculpture of the details that show Daphne's conversion from human to tree, such as the bark and branches, as well as her windswept hair. Some historians, however, discount the importance of Finelli's contribution.

While the sculpture may be appreciated from multiple angles, Bernini planned for it to be viewed slightly from the right because the work would have been visible from the doorway where it was located. Viewing the sculpture from this angle allowed the observer to see the reactions of Apollo and Daphne simultaneously, thus understanding the narrative of the story in a single instant, without the need to move position. Although later the sculpture was moved to the middle of the room.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Apollo and Daphne (Bernini).