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Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 2nd century CE. A lovely carved marble head of a female, perhaps representing a Muse, with heavily lidded almond-shaped eyes, an aquiline nose, fleshy cheeks, and a closed mouth with full, heart-shaped lips. Her hairdo, with meticulously incised locks, frames her attractive visage and is held in place by a diadem and elegantly tied at the nape of her neck. Size: 3.5" W x 4.375" H (8.9 cm x 11.1 cm); 5.875" H (14.9 cm) on included custom stand.
Sources of inspiration to poets, Muses were goddesses of music, song, and dance. In classical sculpture and vase painting, the Muses (Musai) were depicted as graceful young woman with various attributes such as musical instruments. Muses were also revered as goddesses of knowledge who possessed remarkable memory. In time, the muses were given specific names and assigned particular artistic realms: Kalliope (Calliope) for epic poetry; Kleio (Clio) for history; Ourania (Urania) for astronomy; Thaleia (Thalia) for comedy; Melpomene for tragedy; Polymnia (Polyhymnia) for religious hymns; Erato for erotic poetry; Euterpe for lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore) for choral song and dance.
Provenance: private Arizona, USA collection, from an estate collected prior to 1960
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