Dosso Dossi: Apollo and Daphne, 1524.

This painting was probably commissioned by Alfonso d’Este and may allude to his love affair with the lady-in-waiting Laura Dianti, after the death of his wife, Lucrezia Borgia, in 1519. The painting was inspired by the story of Apollo and Daphne in Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Apollo is singing his love for Daphne and interrupts his performance at the moment when the nymph is transformed into a laurel tree (allusion to Laura) in the landscape on the left. Apollo accompanies his song on a viola da braccio, the instrument played by Duke Alfonso.

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