Bernini’s Apollo & Daphne

Nature is depicted throughout centuries of art in numerous ways. Here in Bernini’s sculpture Apollo & Daphne we are confronted with an image of Daphne morphing into a tree. This sculpture constructed in the 1620s still resonates today. We may not understand the beliefs of its creator or know what exactly cultural norms were despite historians attempts to understand. But possibly what we should see when looking at this artwork include our own interactions with nature. While we know humans cannot transform into trees, we may see this sculpture as a metaphor for our consumption of the natural world. We are using trees and other goods found in forests, deserts, oceans, and so on and transforming them into infinite gadgets for our own benefits. Does this sculpture help, frighten or exhilarate us?

 

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