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(Italian, 15th century)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.13
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I.13a
This engraving is part of the Tarocchi group marked with the letter “D,” and named Apollo and the Muses. In Greek mythology, the nine Muses (Calliope, Urania, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Thalia, Melpomene, Euterpe, and Clio) were the daughters of Zeus, king of the gods, and Mnemosyne, the Titaness of memory. The Muses were goddesses presiding over different branches of the arts and sciences. Their leader and supervisor was Apollo, the god of light, music, prophecy, and poetry.
Here, Terpsicore (Terpsichore) is personified as a full-length female figure, in frontal view, set in an imaginary landscape by the sea. She is playing an instrument, likely a medieval guitar. Terpsichore was regarded as the Muse of dancing and songs.
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