Apollo & Daphne In Greek mythology, Daphne was a Naiad (river nymph) who was so beautiful she attracted the attention of the god Apollo. She refused his advances and fled. When it became apparent that he would catch her she cried out to Gaia, the earth goddess, who swallowed her up and transformed her into a tree. Painting: Apollo and Daphne by John William Waterhouse
Apollo and Daphne Albani, Francesco. (detail) Aison of Athens. Jamnitzer, Abraham. Daphne (around 1550)... Pursued by Apollo, Daphne fled and was endlessly chased. Growing weary and afraid he would catch her, she begged the gods for help. They transformed her into a laurel tree. Apollo held the tree in his heart, which became his symbol and adorned himself with its leaves.