Meret Oppenheim drew broadly on stories from the past, including Greco-Roman and medieval sources. She reimagined these narratives and the fates of their female protagonists in ways that reflected her views on the role of women in society. In Daphne and Apollo (1943), she reinterpreted the Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne, in which the wood nymph would rather hunt than become the god’s lover. Unable to escape him, she turns into a laurel tree. In Oppenheim’s version, the artist subjects Apollo, too, to a vegetal transformation, depicting him as a potato-like form, surrounded by flies.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.