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(Italian, 15th century)
Engraving hand-colored with gold
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.17
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I.17a
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, Melpomene is personified as a full-length female figure, turned to left, and set in an imaginary hilly landscape. She is blowing a horn. Melpomene was regarded as the Muse of tragedy.
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