Apollo standing at left shooting a python with an arrow, above to the left are the muses and at right on a cloud Cupid approaching Apollo, from the 'Story of Apollo and Daphne'

Series/Portfolio: Story of Apollo and Daphne

Artist: Master of the Die (Italian, active Rome, ca. 1530–60)

Artist: After Baldassare Tommaso Peruzzi (Italian, Ancaiano 1481–1536 Rome)

Date: 1530–60

Medium: Engraving

Dimensions: sheet: 7 1/8 x 9 5/8 in. (18.1 x 24.4 cm) approximately

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949

Accession Number: 49.97.323


According to Ovid (Metamorphoses 1.253-444), Jupiter destroyed the violent race that arose from the blood of the Giants with a universal flood. When the waters receded, the monstrous Python emerged and was slain by Apollo, as seen in the foreground of this engraving. In the background, Apollo, in the pride of his victory, mocks Cupid (the Greek Eros) for attempting to wield the bow, a weapon unsuited to his diminutive stature. To the left, Cupid exacts his revenge, aiming at Apollo's heart the golden arrow that inflicts love. Cupid has already shot the nymph Daphne-seen in the distance leading the life of a virgin huntress-but with a lead-tipped arrow that has made her hostile to love.