George Frederic Watts Daphne c.1879–82

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Daphne
Date c.1879–82
Medium Marble
Dimensions Object: 711 x 610 x 381 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the executors of Francis Howard 1955
Reference
T00012
Not on display

Display caption

The subject of this sculpture comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Daphne, the daughter of a river-god, was pursued by the sun-god Apollo and only saved from his touch by being turned into a laurel tree.

In this marble bust laurel leaves surround her body, suggesting the transition from flesh to branches. The unfinished appearance of the work, with the marks of the claw-chisel still visible, reinforces the idea of transformation.

September 2004

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