Le Soleil après avoir achevé son cours descend chez Thétis
The central niche of the Grotto was reserved for this marble group executed between 1666 and 1675. Girardon sculpted the figures of Apollo, the two kneeling nymphs, and the nymph standing on the far right; his less distinguished colleague Regnaudin created the three other nymphs. The attitude of the sun god, seemingly unperturbed by the half-naked women attending to him, is fashioned after the classical statue of Apollo Belvedere and meant to convey majesty and self-mastery. In contrast with the tranquillity and symmetry of this composition, the two flanking groups of horses and Tritons are filled with tension and unruly dynamism.