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Girl and Frog. Photo: Thorkild Jensen

The frogs that might have been princes

The two little bloated frogs look like something straight out of a fairy tale. They might easily be two princes who are waiting for the right kiss to transform them back into their princely forms. The two frogs have a hole in their mouth from which water is spouting.

They originally sat in their natural element, water, where they formed part of a fountain somewhere in The King's Garden (Kongens Have). Pools, cascades and fountains have always been popular in garden art.

All the major gardens of Europe's royal houses have had a statue of a frog sitting by a stream. The frog’s transformation is recounted in fairy tales and Greek myths. 

The goddess who turned peasants into frogs

In the narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, the goddess Latona wanders the Earth, restless and thirsty. She has been banished after having an affair with Jupiter. She gives birth to the fruit of the romance, the twins Apollo and Diana. Tired and thirsty, she comes to a lake with beautiful, crystal-clear water. However, the local peasants do not let her quench her thirst and they muddy the waters. For Latona, this is the last straw. She curses the peasants and turns them all into croaking frogs.

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The Lapidarium of Kings