Apollo and Daphne

Renaissance sculptures

“Apollo and Daphne” (Apollo and Daphne) is a marble sculpture created by Italian sculptor Zian Lorenzo Bernini in about 1622~1623 (or 1622~1625). The work is now in the collection of the Boergese Museum in Rome, Italy.
The sculpture is based on an ancient Greek mythology, and shows how Daphne began to transform into a laurel tree when she was touched by Apollo’s hand.

The sculpture adopts a dynamic composition of running. The arms of the two people stretch into a semicircular arc, which is in harmony with the movements of their feet, so that their body curves are as graceful as a flowing dance.

DID YOU KNOW?

“Apollo and Daphne” is a sculpture created by Bernie for the villa of Pope Pionne Porguez, the cardinal of Rome. There are four groups of sculptures, and this is one of them. The sculpture is based on a mythical story. It is said that the sun god Apollo offended Cupid, the naughty cupid shot the arrow that could ignite the flame of love at the sun god Apollo, and shot another arrow to dispel love. Daphne, the daughter of the river god. When Apollo wooed Daphne, Daphne refused decisively, and even when she saw Apollo, Daphne would run away. When Apollo was about to chase Daphne, Daphne asked her father River God for help. Just when Apollo touched Daphne’s body, Daphne became a laurel tree, her hair turned into leaves, and her wrists turned into Branches, two legs turned into trunks, feet turned into roots and plunged into the soil. Annoyed, Apollo still loves Daphne. He made his own laurel wreath from the branches of the laurel tree that Daphne turned into. This is also the origin of the term “laurel wreath”. Apollo’s behavior eventually moved Daphne who became a laurel tree. This sculpture represents the moment when Apollo just touched Daphne’s body and Daphne became a laurel tree.

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