Commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1622, Bernini's life-size marble of Apollo and Daphne was completed, with interruptions by mid-1624 at a cost of 600 scudi. The marble is now in the Borghese Gallery, Rome.
The nymph Daphne was the first and most celebrated of Apollo's loves. Ovid recounts how Apollo was struck by Cupid's golden arrow, kindling love and Daphne by a leaden arrow, that puts love to flight. Symbolizing the victory of Chastity over Lust, Daphne fled from Apollo's advances and saved herself by metamorphosing into a laurel bush, the moment of which is depicted in Bernini's sculpture.