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The Muse Erato
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The Muse Erato

130 - 150. White marble.

This marble statue and other seven more (E000068, E000041, E000040, E000062, E000038, E000069, E000037) were unearthed in about 1500 in Hadrian´s Villa at Tivoli, where the decorated the stage of the Academy Theatre or Odeon. They were made at the end of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (c. 130 AD), by two Roman worshops, reproducing Greek models from the second century BC. In about 1670, they were acquired by Queen Cristina of Sweden (1626-1689) and exhibited in her palace in Rome. They were later acquired by Philip V and reached the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia) in 1725. The Muses were restored by Ercole Ferrata (1610-1686) who gave them new attributes and heads in accordance with the identification they were given at the time. Only Terpsichore was correctly identified. The muse who bears the portrait of Queen Cristina was converted into Melpomene although she was, in fact, Thalia, the muse of comedy, as is indicated by the mask of comedy which she holds; Calliope was restored for no special reason as Urania. Due to their lack of attributes, the original names of the other Muses cannot be identified. They are now on display with their Baroque period names. The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne and originally used to sing together with beautiful voices to the Gods in Olympus or provide divine inspiration to poets and the sibyls. It was only during the first century BC that each of the Muses began to be related to a specific art. They were worshipped at the Museion of the famous library of Alexandria, from where the modern term “Museum” originates.

Technical data

Related artworks

The Muse Erato
Pencil on paper, Mid-XVIIIcentury
Ajello, Eutichio
The Muse Euterpe
White marble, 130 - 150
The Muse Talía
White marble, 130 - 150
The Muse Calliope
White marble, 130 - 150
The Muse Terpsichore
White marble, 130 - 150
The Muse Urania
Marble, 130 - 150
The Muse Clío
White marble, 130 - 150
The Muse Polymnia
White marble, 130 - 150
Cupido de la musa Erato
White marble, Ca. 1670
Las musas Erato, Polimnia, Urania y Calíope
Taille douce: etching and engraving on laid paper, 1719
Audran, Benoit
Inventory number
The Muse Erato
130 - 150
White marble
Height: 152 cm; Width: 74 cm; Base/bottom: 99 cm; Weight: 830 Kg
Colección Cristina de Suecia
Tívoli, ca. 1500; Villa Madama; Collection of Clement VII; Collection of Queen Christina of Sweden; Collection of Livio Odescalchi; Royal Collection (Felipe V's and Elizabeth of Farnesio Collection, La Granja de San Ildefonso Palace, Segovia)

Bibliography +

Ponz, Antonio, Viage de España. Vol. I, X, Joachin Ibarra, Madrid, 1781, pp. carta 5.

Hübner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 64.

Reinach, Salomon, Repertoire de la Statuaire Grecque et Romaine. Vol. I, Ernest Leroux, París, 1906, pp. 272.

Barrón, Eduardo, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo Nacional de Pintura y Escultura., Imprenta y fototipia J. Lacoste, Madrid, 1908, pp. 64, lám.XXXVIII-XXXIX ,n.61.

Ricard, Robert, Marbres Antiques du Musee du Prado a Madrid, Feret & Fils, Burdeos, 1923, pp. 63.

Tormo y Monzó, Elías, Encomio de las musas de la reina Cristina de Suecia en el Museo del Prado, Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones, 44, 1936, pp. 1-40, 73-78.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las esculturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1949, pp. 30.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la escultura, Madrid, 1957, pp. 39.

Blanco, Antonio; Lorente, Manuel, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo del Prado, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981, pp. nº61.

Elvira Barba, Miguel Angel, Cristina de Suecia en el Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1997, pp. 65.

Elvira Barba, Miguel Ángel, El Cuaderno de Ajello y las esculturas del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1998, pp. 116-117.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Escultura clásica: guía, Fundación Marcelino Botín; Museo del Prado, Santander, 1999, pp. 186.

El Coleccionismo de Escultura Clasica en España. Actas del Simposio, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 195-216.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, II, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 200-227.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Enciclopedia del Museo del Prado, V, T.F. Editores: Fundación Amigos, Madrid, 2006, pp. 1604-1605.

Corona y arqueología en el Siglo de las Luces, Patrimonio Nacional, 2010, pp. 34-46,85-93.

Elvira Barba, Miguel Angel, Las esculturas de Cristina de Suecia: un tesoro de la Corona de España, Real Academia de Historia, Madrid, 2011, pp. 52,76 / 166-167.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 373.
373. una estatua de mármol de Carrara, sentada, que representa a la musa Erato. / alto 5 pies, 6 pulg.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in black. Plinth

Location +

Ábside (On Display)

Displayed objects +

Instruments, Musical


Update date: 11-06-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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