Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Artist

Jacopo da Carrucci (Pontormo) (Pontorme, Italy, 1494 - 1557, Florence, Italy)

Title

Apollo and Daphne

Creation Date

1513

Century

16th century

Dimensions

24 3/8 in. x 19 1/4 in. (61.91 cm. x 48.9 cm.)

Object Type

painting

Creation Place

Europe, Italy

Medium and Support

oil on canvas

Credit Line

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Copyright

Public Domain

Accession Number

1961.100.9
One of the Museum’s finest European paintings is this work by Pontormo, best known for his work in Mannerism, a late Renaissance style. Based on classical mythology, Apollo and Daphne was created when Pontormo was just eighteen-years-old. Commissioned in 1513 by the Medici in Florence, the scene decorated a carriage used in a carnival that marked the family’s triumphant return to power after years of exile. Here Apollo, madly in love with the nymph Daphne, chases her through the woods as Daphne escapes his advances through her metamorphosis into a laurel tree. In memory of his beloved, Apollo adopted the tree’s leaves as his emblem, and the Medici later appropriated the laurel after their return to power. Classical mythology has long provided a major source of imagery and symbolism among European and American societies.

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