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(Italian, 15th century)
Engraving hand-colored with gold
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.15
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I.15a
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, Polimnia (Polyhymnia) is personified as a full-length female figure, turned to the right, and set in an imaginary hilly landscape. She is playing a portative organ. Polyhymnia was regarded as the Muse of heroic hymns.
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