Ô Daphné

Vintage Jeanne Lanvin’s dress (1945-1950s).
The painting realized in 1897 by Paul Jean Gervais is called “Apollo and Arts”. Apollo is the Greek god of sun, poetry, music and singing.
In Greek mythology, Apollo (Apollon in French) fell in love with the Naiad nymph Daphne (Daphné in French). But she rejected him and ran away from him, to his great despair. Daphne is the daughter of the river god Peneus (Pénée in French). Solitary, she likes hunting and has the power to shoot straight (given to her by Artemis).
This tragic love story (unrequited love) is the work of Eros, the God of love (Cupidon for the Romans). Taking revenge on Apollo who laughed at him, Eros shot at him two arrows : one with the power to chase love and one bringing birth to love. But, the first one reached the nymph Daphne and the second touched Apollo.
Mad in love with Daphne , he chased her for days in the forest to seduce her, in vain… One day, after an umpteenth pursuit, desperate, Daphne asked his father to take away her beauty to stop the advances of Apollo. So, the river god transformed her in a magnificent laurel. Since this day, laurel has become the sacred tree of Apollo and a symbol of power. The crowns of laurel were worn by the warriors.

Painting by John William Waterhouse

Sources : Pinterest, histoire-amour.com and Apollon et Daphnée

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