Apollo and Daphne

Object Details

Title:

Apollo and Daphne

Artist/Maker(s):

Jan Boeckhorst (German, about 1604 - 1668)

Culture:

German

Date:

about 1640

Medium:

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, watercolor, and white gouache heightening

Dimensions:

22.1 x 23.2 cm (8 11/16 x 9 1/8 in.)

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This drawing depicts a crucial moment in a myth from Ovid's Metamorphoseswhena nymph, Daphne, is transformed into a laurel tree to escape the advances of the love-struck god Apollo. Daphne is frozen mid-stride, her torso stiffening like the trunk of a tree. With shock and fear, she stares up at the green shoots erupting from her raised arm and the branches replacing her head of wavy hair.

Jan Boeckhorst dramatized this brief moment with a dynamic composition and vibrant sketching technique. The figures stand robustly in the center of the composition, their colorful robes appearing to fly off of their shoulders as if caught by a gust of wind. Vigorous, diagonal strokes fill the sky and figures, adding a substantial sense of movement. Staccato dabs of green shoot from Daphne's tapered fingers as her flesh turns to flora. Even Apollo's crown of laurel leaves seems to sprout from his head, echoing Daphne's emerging foliage.

Boeckhorst's drawing served as a compositional study for a tapestry illustrating the same subject. The tapestry is one of eight depicting the myths of Apollo.

Provenance
1668 -

Possibly Antoon van Leyden, Belgian, 1628 - 1686

Alfred Scharf (London, England)

by 1953

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London

by 1991

On consignment to Christie's (Amsterdam) [sold, Christie's, Amsterdam, November 25, 1991, lot 57, to Bob P. Haboldt.]

1991 - 2003

Bob P. Haboldt, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.

Exhibitions
Visions of Grandeur: Drawing in the Baroque Age (June 1 to September 12, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to September 12, 2004
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (February 6 to May 20, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 6 to May 20, 2007
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (March 31 to July 5, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 31 to July 5, 2009
Drawing in the Age of Rubens (October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015