TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)
Apollo and Daphne1741
Oil on canvas, 96 x 79 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The dramatic episode of Apollo and Daphne, as narrated by Ovid in the "Metamorphoses", is staged in front of an almost Alpine backdrop. Daphne escapes the attentions of Apollo, who has fallen madly in love with her, by turning herself into a tree. The moment in which the transformation begins is represented: Apollo is hard on her heels and Amor, too, is attempting to hold her, but her hands have already turned into foliage. The backward-facing figure of a river god in the foreground marks the end of her desperate flight. The strong contrast between the brilliant yellow and red robes and the dark blue shades of the background brings to mind works of French art.