There was a nymph daughter of a river god who was turned off to love. She had coaxed a promise from her father not to force her to wed, so when Apollo, shot by one of Cupid's arrow, pursued her and wouldn't take no for an answer, the river god obliged his daughter by turning her into the laurel tree. Apollo did what he could, and cherished the laurel.
The artist who painted this version of Apollo pursuing the nymph Daphne, Gianbattista Tiepolo (March 5, 1696 - March 27, 1770), was an 18th century Venetian painter and printmaker. His works included several topics from Ovid's Metamorphoses.