Thursday, January 9, 2020

Bernini’s “Apollo and Daphne” Is an Unnerving Depiction of Unwanted Desire

By Alexxa Gotthardt
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647-1652 Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
When famed Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini unveiled Apollo and Daphne in 1625, the marble work was resoundingly hailed as a meraviglia—a marvel. Contrary to more rigid Renaissance sculptures of the same subject, the muscled body of Bernini’s David (1623) reels back, limbs torqued and straining in space, as he prepares to launch his stone at Goliath, while the titular saint in Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1647-1652) twists rapturously, head thrown back in abandon. But nowhere in Bernini’s oeuvre is his fascination with metamorphoses more fully expressed than in Apollo and Daphne. [More]
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Apollo and Daphe, 1622–25. Image via Wikimedia Commons.