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(Italian, 15th century)
Engraving hand-colored with gold
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.18
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I.18a
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, Euterpe is personified as a full-length female figure, turned to left, and leaning against a tree set in an imaginary hilly landscape. She is playing an aulos, an ancient Greek instrument, similar to a flute. Euterpe was regarded as the Muse of music and lyric poetry.
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