Daphne Fleeing from Apollo
Date: c. 1500
Medium: Oil, formerly on panel, transfered to canvas
Dimensions: Image: 25-5/8 x 53-3/4 in. (65.1 x 136.5 cm) Framed: 35-1/8 x 62-7/8 x 3-1/4 in. (89.2 x 159.7 x 8.3 cm)
Credit: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Description: Cassone panel; part of a series with 1973.44
Accession No.: 1973.45
On view in the Edward A. and Inge Maser Gallery.
This painting is one of a pair of panels from a Renaissance cassone, or hope chest, which was typically adorned with representations of classical narratives possibly intended as moral examples. Almost always made in pairs, cassoni were commissioned by a young man's family for the occasion of his wedding, and were used to transport the bride's dowry (a gift of money or goods) in a public procession from her parents' house to that of her new husband. The Smart Museum panels depict the story (from Ovid's Metamorphoses) of the god Apollo's thwarted love affair with Daphne. Daphne is depicted here, as in the legend, escaping from Apollo's advances by transforming into a laurel tree, which may refer to the bride's transition into a married state and her move toward adulthood.