- Gallery Text
Ovid’s Metamorphoses tells of Daphne, a chaste nymph who is pursued by the god Apollo. In order to rescue her, her father, a river god, turns her into a laurel tree. Like many painters and sculptors before her, Sintenis represents the dramatic moment of transformation. The surface of the bronze is roughly textured, more like a tree’s bark than human skin. The upward pull of Daphne’s body is heightened by her raised arms, upturned palms, which are imprinted with vein-like foliage, and her hair, which has become arrow-like leaves. An accomplished Berlin-based sculptor and engraver, Sintenis was best known for small bronzes and terracottas of young animals; Daphne represents a departure from her previous small-scale work. The sculpture was originally commissioned for the garden of the Museum of Art and History in Lübeck, Germany. This is one of four casts.
- Identification and Creation
Level 1, Room 1510, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art In Germany Between the Wars
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- Physical Descriptions
- 143.2 x 31.1 x 27 cm (56 3/8 x 12 1/4 x 10 5/8 in.)
with base: 152.7 x 31.1 x 27 cm (60 1/8 x 12 1/4 x 10 5/8 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- inscription: below proper left heel, in artist's hand: RS
- stamp: below heel, near bottom edge: H NOACK BERLIN
- Private Collection. [Fine Arts Associates, Inc., New York], sold; to Charles and Hetty Kuhn, 1959; Mrs. Hetty S. Kuhn, gift; to the Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1959.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Mrs. Charles L. Kuhn
- © Renée Sintenis / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Modern and Contemporary Art
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- dark golden-brown patina
- Publication History
Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 80, repr.
Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 354, p. 299, repr.
- Exhibition History
Works from the 20th Century Collection of the Busch-Reisinger, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/15/1980 - 09/01/1980; Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 09/23/1980 - 10/24/1980
Making Myth Modern: Primordial Themes in German 20th-Century Sculpture, Harvard University Art Museums, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 07/14/2007 - 12/30/2007
Ancient to Modern, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 06/01/2013
32Q: 1510 German Expressionist Sculpture, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
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