The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statue of a Muse

Object Details


Statue of a Muse






Roman Empire (Place Created)


about A.D. 200



Object Number:



97 × 30.5 × 22.9 cm (38 3/16 × 12 × 9 in.)

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Object Description

A young woman wearing a long robe and wrapped in a mantle leans forward, resting her elbow on a tall rocky support. She represents a Muse, one of the goddesses of the arts and learning. Scholars identify this leaning figure as Polyhymnia, the Muse of the art of mime. The statue was part of a group of Muses and other deities that probably decorated a building devoted to the worship of a Roman emperor.

Traces of paint on the woman's eyes, hair, and her rocky support show that the statue was originally enlivened with color. The form of the statue's base allows scholars to reconstruct how it was displayed: its flattened back indicates that the statuette was probably placed in a niche.

- 1968

Elie Borowski, Polish, 1913 - 2003 (Basel, Switzerland), sold to Hans Cohn, 1968.

1968 - 1994

Hans Cohn (Los Angeles, California), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994.


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Thomas, Nancy and Constantina Oldknow, eds. By Judgment of the Eye: The Varya and Hans Cohn Collection (Los Angeles: Hans Cohn, 1991), p. 104.

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Birk, Stine. "Carving sarcophagi: Roman sculptural workshops and their organisation." In Troels Myrup Kristensen and Birte Poulsen (eds) Ateliers and Artisans in Roman Art and Archaeology. JRA Suppl. 92 (2012), pp. 27-31, figs 14a-b (cited as 94.AA.27).