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Apollo and Daphne – Bernini

This realisation is 1 of the 4 groups that Bernini created to order, from Scipione Borghese for his villa (pic263) , from 1622 to 1625, at the age of 24 years.
These groups so finely carved, make one forget that they are cut in ONE BLOCK of MARBLE
This sculpture is 2.43m high and has been exhibited in this same room of the villa since its creation.

DAPHNE is a nymph, daughter of the river god "Peneus". To avenge APOLLO who has made fun of him, EROS (or Cupid), god of love, shoots 2 arrows : one on Apollo which makes him madly in love with the beautiful Daphne, the other on Daphne, which inspires her disgust for love.
As Apollo pursues her, she asks for her father's help : He turns his daughter into a laurel.

This view of the work does not really show the metamorphosis of Daphne into a laurel, but in WS2, you can observe the complexity of the sculpture: Seen from behind, the laurel has already gained the upper hand.

The presence of this pagan myth in the villa of the cardinal is justified by a line from Cardinal Barberini, future Pope Urban VIII, engraved on the base: "He who likes to pursue the fleeting forms of pleasure, finds only bitter leaves and fruits on hand" :-)

WS2 Metamorphosis into a laurel
WS1 A 3rd of the 4 monumental groups : “The rape of Proserpina by Pluto, god of the underworld”

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Additional Photos by MarieLouise Davies (maloutim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2082 W: 338 N: 3678] (12313)
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