Daphne in Disguise, or the Mystery of the Venetian Carnaval!

6 years, 11 months ago 31
Posted in: New Doll

After a long wait here she is in all her glory, and for the first time ever, this one-of-a-kind tattooed and costumed doll will be available to purchase from an ebay auction which begins on Monday, Dec 9th and ends Saturday, Dec 14th. And now read her story!
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In the history of the Venetian carnival, there are three origin stories:

The most romantic version is that it’s a festive celebration in honor of liberating the women from the captivity of pirates. The most banal one, is a victory of the people over a greedy patriarch of Venice, while the most common origin story, is that of a harvest festival; a good rest after hard work.

That’s all well and good, but where then did the masks come from? Who is hiding from whom and why: slaves from owners, owners from slaves, pirates from the people or people from the patriarch? Maybe they were all hiding from the God Saturn, the patron of the people. Perhaps, but I think there is something more to it. Just beware that it’s a really sad story. No, not like Romeo and Juliet, but a much sadder one, because it’s a story about a stalker and his victim, the unknown tale of Apollo and Daphne.

Let me tell you how it really went down.

Once upon a time, there lived a mighty God Saturn and his wife Cybele. In that age, there also lived a beautiful nymph Daphne and a young shepherd Attis. Of course God Apollo also lived in those distant times. There can’t well be a story without Apollo, that golden-haired playboy of the antiquity, can there?

So it happened that the beautiful Daphne fell in love with the mortal Attis, while the no less lovely Cybele, though a goddess, also fell in love with him. God Apollo, who could not miss a single skirt had began scheming as soon he laid his eyes on the exquisite Daphne. Attis in the meantime decided to kill two birds with one stone and had affairs with both Daphne and Cybele simultaneously. Only Saturn was wise enough to stay out of this love polygon.

“Do what you like” he said, while presumably shaking his head and rolling his eyes, and then went drinking with his buddy Zeus. The mighty Zeus had long wanted to hang out on Mount Olympus with a bottle of brandy.

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Predictably, things got messy, as many love stories do. Apollo chased after Daphne, Daphne chased after Attis, who in turn chased Cybele. Cybele choked with jealousy; Apollo burned with desire; Daphne was dying of love, while Attis was high-fiving everyone and congratulating himself on seducing two beautiful women. All suffered here except Saturn, who was on Olympus enjoying another glass of whiskey. I mean brandy.

But who could resist Apollo? Perhaps only Zeus himself. So Daphne had to flee from him across different lands, until she got to the glorious city of Venice. Alas, it was all in vain: lovesick Apollo followed her everywhere like a bloodhound with a scent, pursuing her anywhere she ran. Doomed, Daphne appealed to all the residents of Venice, asking for their help. The good people felt sorry for her, but no one dared to openly defy the will of Apollo. That is, until someone suggested a clever solution of disguising the entire city in masks to hide them from Apollo. The people liked the idea of outwitting a God, and the next morning everyone was wearing disguises, rejoicing, dancing and celebrating from morning till night for two whole weeks, while a flabbergasted yet determined Apollo stalked the narrow streets of Venice in a relentless search for his prey. He felt entitled to possess Daphne. She belonged to him even if she didn’t accept it.

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But then came Lent, and people had to stop the festivities and remove their masks. That’s when Apollo had finally discovered Daphne. Furious that she not only rejected him – a God, but actually preferred some simple mortal shepherd instead, he turned her into a Laurel tree. He broke off a branch, made it into a wreath and placed it on his golden curls as a trophy. He also gave the tree immortality, so that he could possess Daphne in any form he could, for all eternity. What a sociopath.

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Cybele, in turn, drove Attis crazy, unfortunately in a very literal sense, because he opened up his veins and died. As for Saturn, he got a huge hangover. And he also fought with Zeus. Turns out that Zeus was an angry drunk. As for people of Venice, they took to the idea of hiding their faces under different masks and celebrating life and love in all their transient glory.

And that’s how began the tradition of the Venetian masquerade: with the myth of Apollo and Daphne – a stalker and his victim. And whether I’m wrong or right, is for you to decide.

The End.

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PS – It’s not the end of Daphne’s pictures though.

Whew, I’m pretty exhausted. This doll was exhausting. I need to catch my breath now. Enjoy her and goodnight.


31 Responses

  1. Anthony says:

    This girl is the epitome of perfection Marina… Just everything about her is absolute and utter beauty…. Daphne ohhh Daphne… I think this and not Helen of Troy was the face that launched a thousand ships…. I truly have no more words for her magnificence <3

  2. Marina says:

    So happy to hear that, Anthony! Did you like the story?

  3. Anthony says:

    Marina- Like? NO.. More like LOVED!!!! I’m sorry I am always so captivated by Daphne’s new shots that everything else just ceases to exist for a couple of heartbeats^^ What a clever way to spin the Venician elemant of her disguise into the tale of Daphne and Apollo… I truely much prefer your version of the story to the original, much more meat and intrigue…. Amazing!! <3

  4. Nada says:

    It starts on my birthday. A good sign!

  5. Stefy says:

    Gorgeous interpretation of this myth, enjoyed the way you also wrote it. The doll is breathtaking and I do hope Anthony you’ll be able to get her as the most beautiful present for Christmas. I’m also curios and wait for Elena’s vertion…I’ve always adored Greek hystory and mythology.

  6. Sailor_Orbit says:

    she’s stunning! I love the added details to the silver, her costume looks great :)

  7. Catalin says:

    the doll is so lovely, just beautifully designed. I have to say I do prefer the original myth where Daphne is transformed into a laurel tree by Peneus in order to escape from Apollo, rather than Apollo transforming her himself in order to capture her, but that is perhaps because I enjoy that in the original myth, while it is tragic, ultimately Daphne is able to escape in some form. Regardless your story was definitely well done!

  8. jacci says:

    i love the combo of story and myth. very awesome, and of course, Daphne is lovely. great photos, and I love the mask, but not as much as her tattoos. I love the tattooed dolls, maybe because I have a thing for tattoos myself.

    this will be a nailbiter of an auction.

  9. Christianne says:

    She is also a double jointed doll……Marina the mask alone is……. my goodness is outstanding…..I think she will make a new record in price range…..

  10. Becky says:

    She is absolutely stunning! Beautiful story and beautiful everything.

  11. Bertha says:

    Very Sad stories indeed! Love the gown but would prefer the mask without the beak though so you can see more of Daphne’s lovely feature!

  12. Astera says:

    Love the drama, the irony, the crisscrossing of traditions in time. I love the homage to Venice and its Carnevale (which as you know is very dear to me)message. Most of all, I like the splendor of Daphne and her glittering costume…after all I don’t. think it must have been too difficult for Apollo to find her…what mortal would be confused with her?

  13. Isaac says:

    Not that this isnt a very lovely story, yes, yes… but you missed out a pretty important part to the story, eros (cupid) shot apollo with an arrow of love meaning he would fall hopelessly inlove with the first thing he saw – he saw daphne. However, he also shot daphne with a lead arrow which meant that she would be repelled from the first person she saw – apollo. So please stop making it look like he was the bad guy beacause he was not, eros was

    • Marina says:


      No, I won’t stop doing that. He was the bad guy here, because reasons for stalking someone to the point of suicide are always irrelevant. The arrow represents mental illness, Daphne turning into a tree represents a suicide attempt.

      I bet that all stalkers believe that they have very good, legitimate reasons for stalking someone. Like being shot with some imaginary arrow for example, which makes him and his victim ‘belong’ together.

      Are you staying that there is such a thing as a good reason for stalking some one (sometimes to death), that would make the stalker a good guy? Because it’s sounds to me like that’s what you’re saying.

      • Lyse says:

        Actually when you see the “love arrow” it can easily be a obsession arrow, while the “leaden arrow” means Daphne saw Apollo for what he really was, and rejected him. When she appealed to Peneus to turn her into a tree, it may mean that she wanted a mercy killing by his hands in order to keep Apollo from raping her. But when she turned into a tree, Apollo took a piece of her nevertheless.

  14. Doll Artistry,at it’s finest! Many exhausting hours, surely has paid off, Marina! You certainly, can now, take a bow, for such outstanding achievement! I love the Story that goes along with Daphne and also, really like the mask! It suits her well. Good Luck, for a successful Auction!

  15. Isaac says:

    ps. I love the doll, she is exteremely beatiful. You are truly a great sculpter

  16. Sylvia Leticia says:

    Wow… What a Story!!!

    But so nice You will let Daphne live forever!!
    She is Incredibly *Beautiful & Unique*
    So Magical detailed… Love her Mask.

    Lucky her future owner :-}

    ~Happy Holidays Marina~

  17. Oh, and Marina, would you be able to cast more nosed masks, for us to purchase, as I think, this one will, go down in History! I know it belongs to Dear Daphne, but I just love it!

  18. Yy says:

    Yes, this story is unfair, like so many things in life, young girls die in the hand of their stalkers or to escape they kill themselves. It’s the stalkers that wants to do all this crazy thing to hurt another but the victim is the one scarred. Daphne is just one of those beauties that ends so sadly but yet still stays pure.
    The ironic sentences of Attis’s acheivements were funny but instead I think I cried because I can’t believe Daphne fell for such a lousy person.
    And also, does this story get added on to the costumed galleries or no? I always wondered if your recent posts are connected to the gallery because the Anna Karenina reflection was under her doll and it made me happy to see it there. Thank you for the little reflections towards your Doll’s story, enchanting as them.

  19. Binnur says:

    I want to bid on the wine…..Is the wine and the glass included? Seriously, though, a lovely original story to go with a breathtaking doll….Lucky will be the person who will bring this beauty home! You have outdone even yourself….

  20. Kevin says:


    Stunning work amazing! Will she be in the new edition of your book?

  21. Lean says:

    Lovely, specially the mask, your jewelry work is just breath taking and you have to know that you inspired me to study jewelry, and I enjoy to work with wax a lot!
    And I have to tell you, something that I had to tell you a time ago, but never founded the moment:  you change my life sincerely, because when I saw your work for the first time ( recommended by Barbara Caneppa blog post)  I was really lost at that moment professionally, I was studdyin graphics arts, but it didn’t filled me, I was really depressed and thought I wasn’t good in anything and I had no passion for anything either…
    But when I saw the beautiful art you do with dolls, you inspired me to try sculpting an learning jewelry, and to know this world of magic,  that is the Art Dolls world, that definitely save me…
    I’m sorry to do this confession in your blog in public,  but this doll and her tale touched me, specially.
    The story,  I suffered my self something like that and I appreciate you defend women rights and justice,  my beloved Marina.
    I can’t explain with words how much I admire your work,  and now your person too! ?
    People like you gives Art more significant and elevates it. Thank you for given the world,  and specially my life all this beauty.

  22. thomas says:

    one more masterpiece of your magic hands.I really loved your story.There are no words to describe the what I saw.I grew up with greek mythology and in my laboratory I have 12 statues of Apollo.I think that came the time to find his Daphne.
    Congratulations for your work.I hope I will be the one that will purchase that amazing doll.

  23. Santie says:

    haha,I can’t wait for Daphne. It’s Dec 9th. :)

  24. Maia says:

    Oh my goodness. BEAUTIFUL. And the mask! The mask, the mask, the mask! This is the version I was wishing for. Absolutely breathtaking. I love how beautiful Daphne is, I love her mask, I love her tattoos. I love Marina’s work. I truly enjoyed reading the story also. Looking forward to watching this auction unfold (I won’t be bidding or course, but still excited to watch it all).

  25. Christianne says:

    Its getting late, its 22:00 2 hours left for Monday…….

  26. Gil says:

    The ebay link doesn’t work at all!!!! I tried several times I can’t find it!! please can you regenerate it?

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