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Andrea Schiavone Aollo and Daphne 1538
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Christoph Murer Apollo & Daphne 1580
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Hendrick Goltzius Apollo & Daphne 1589

According to Greek myth, Apollo chased the nymph Daphne, daughter either of Peneus and Creusa in Thessaly, or of the river Ladon in Arcadia. The pursuit of a local nymph by an Olympian god, part of the archaic adjustment of religious cult in Greece, was given an arch anecdotal turn in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where the god’s infatuation was caused by an arrow from Eros, who wanted to make Apollo pay for making fun of his archery skills and to demonstrate the power of love’s arrow. Ovid treats the encounter, Apollo’s lapse of majesty, in the mode of elegiac lovers, and expands the pursuit into a series of speeches. According to the rendering Daphne prays for help either to the river god Peneus or to Gaia, and is transformed into a laurel (Laurus nobilis): “a heavy numbness seized her limbs, thin bark closed over her breasts, her hair turned into leaves, her arms into branches, her feet so swift a moment ago stuck fast in slow-growing roots, her face was lost in the canopy. Only her shining beauty was left.”
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Johann Bockhorst  Apollo und Daphne 1640
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Stefano Della Bella Apollo and Daphne, after Bernini c1640
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Antonio del Pollaiuolo  Apollo and Daphne 1429Image
Bernini Apollo and Daphne 1622

I.
The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries,
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,–
Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn,
Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.
II.
Then I arise, and climbing Heaven’s blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves,
Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;
My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves
Are filled with my bright presence, and the air
Leaves the green Earth to my embraces bare.
III.
The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of Night.
IV.
I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers,
With their ethereal colors; the Moon’s globe,
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers,
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine,
Are portions of one power, which is mine.
V.
I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven;
Then with unwilling steps I wander down
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
For grief that I depart they weep and frown:
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the western isle?
VI.
I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself, and knows it is divine;
All harmony of instrument or verse,
All prophecy, all medicine, is mine,
All light of art or nature; – to my song
Victory and praise in its own right belong.

Hymn of Apollo by Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Carlo Maratta – Apollo Chasing Daphne c1700
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Cornelis de Vos  Apollo chasing Daphne c1630
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Francesco Trevisani – Apollo and Daphne 1708

Dafne nombre mitológico de una ninfa, protagonista de un desgraciado amor con Apolo, huyendo del cual quedó convertida en un árbol de laurel.En la mitología griega Dafne era una dríade (ninfa de los árboles), hija del dios río Ladón de Arcadia con Gea o del dios río Peneo de Tesalia con Creúsa, una ninfa de las aguas que además era sacerdotisa de Gea.Dafne fue perseguida por Apolo, a quien Cupido había disparado una flecha dorada para que se enamorase de ella, pues estaba celoso porque Apolo había bromeado sobre sus habilidades como arquero, y también afirmaba que el canto de éste le molestaba. Dafne huyó de Apolo porque Eros le había disparado a su vez una flecha con punta de plomo, que provocaba desprecio y desdén. Durante la persecución, Dafne imploró ayuda al dios del río Peneo (padre de Dafne), quien la transformó en laurel, árbol que desde ese momento se convirtió en sagrado para Apolo
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Giambattista Tiepolo Apollo and Daphne 1743
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Paolo Veronese Apollo and Daphne 1565
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William Turner The story of Apollo and Daphne 1837
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Jean François de Troye Apollo and Daphne 1728

«Tras vos un Alquimista va corriendo,
Dafne, que llaman Sol ¿y vos, tan cruda?
Vos os volvéis murciégalo sin duda,
Pues vais del Sol y de la luz huyendo.

ȃl os quiere gozar a lo que entiendo
Si os coge en esta selva tosca y ruda,
Su aljaba suena, está su bolsa muda,
El perro, pues no ladra, está muriendo.

»Buhonero de signos y Planetas,
Viene haciendo ademanes y figuras
Cargado de bochornos y Cometas.»

Esto la dije, y en cortezas duras
De Laurel se ingirió contra sus tretas,
Y en escabeche el Sol se quedó a oscuras.

Francisco de Quevedo   A Dafne, huyendo de Apolo
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Arthur Rackham Daphne transforming into a tree while fleeing from Apollo c1920
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Robert Jacques Francois Faust Lefevre Pauline as Daphne fleeing from Apollo 1810
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Theodore Chasseriau Apollo and Daphne 1845
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John William Waterhouse Apollo and Daphne 1908
ImageJoel Peter Witkin  Daphne and Apollo 1985
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Apollo Michel Koven 2011


James King as Apollo in Daphne