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Peter Blake

After Pollaiuolo's 'Apollo and Daphne

oil on canvas
1996
90 x 62 cm / 35 3/8 x 24 3/8 in.
signed, dated and titled on overlap

From 1994 to1996 Peter Blake was artist in residence at the National Gallery in London. During this time, he created works relating to classical paintings at the National Gallery. He had the choice of 66 rooms full of paintings and decided to take it on – and as he said, to prove he was a serious artist. He was inspired by Michelangelo’s „Leda and the Swan“ and Longhis „Rhinozeros“, by Bronzino, Rubens, Titian or Velazquez and Cranach. The result was presented from October 1996 in the exhibition „Now we are 64: Peter Blake at the National Gallery“ with 60 works, among them some from earlier years. auch einige aus früheren Jahren. The present work, after Pollaiuolos „Apollo and Daphne“ from the 15th century was also included in the exhibition. The painting illustrates one of the „Metamorphoses“ by Ovid. The god Apollo had ridiculed Eros as a bad shot. To revenge himself, Eros shot a golden love arrow at Apollo and a lead, repulsing arrow at the nymph Daphne. Pursued by Apollo, the fleeing nymph appealed to her father, the river god Peneios, to change her shape. He turned her into a laurel tree. In honour of Daphne, from then on Apollo either wore a laurel wreath or had his Kithara adorned with laurel.

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