Description The story of Daphne is told by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC-AD 17) in "The Metamorphoses." Cupid, god of love, shot the god Apollo with a gold-tipped arrow, kindling his love for the nymph Daphne, but Cupid shot her with one tipped with lead, stifling love. Pursued by Apollo, Daphne prayed to her father, a river god, to save her, and she was transformed into a laurel tree. Ovid's tales were popular for their eroticism. In addition, the idea of metamorphosis, a fundamental, divinely sanctioned change of state, offered a way of thinking about the creative act, as in the transformation of a chunk of copper ore into a bronze statuette. Jacques Laudin, who monogrammed this plaque, adapted the composition from an engraving of 1589 after a drawing by the Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius. The frame is original.
Provenance Ralph Bernal [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, London, March 5, 1855, lot 1530; T. Russell Kent [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, London, November 24, 1908, lot 71; George Robinson Harding, London [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, May 21, 1912, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912
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