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While we can justly bemoan how smartphones, computers and other screens have contributed to flattening our lived experience of the world, flatness has long been associated with how we experience art. Though this is inevitable when engaging with paintings and photographs, almost all objects in museums and galleries are kept behind glass, cordoned off or placed in such a way so that we can only see them on a single plane and from limited vantage points.

Bernini’s sculpture Apollo and Daphne was never intended as an exception to this convention as it was originally placed in the corner of a room, but it realizes its dramatic potential now that it can be seen in the round at Rome’s Galleria Borghese. Like the passage that inspired it from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in which a young maiden turns into a tree while the gods pursue her, the 17th-century marble sculpture, though static, conveys a narrative rather than a


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Four

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