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(Italian, 15th century)
Engraving hand-colored with gold
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.20
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I.20a
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, Apollo is personified as a full-length crowned male figure, frontal view, and seated on two swans. He carries a laurel branch in his left hand, while pointing a stick to the celestial globe on which his feet are resting. Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and was regarded as the god of Mousike (Art of the Muses).
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