The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statue of a Muse

Object Details

Title:

Statue of a Muse

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Roman Empire (Place Created)

Date:

about A.D. 200

Medium:

Marble

Object Number:

94.AA.22

Dimensions:

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.

Provenance
Provenance
- 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.

Bibliography
Bibliography

Vermeule, Cornelius C. Greek Art: Socrates to Sulla; From the Peloponnesian Wars to the Rise of Julius Caesar. Art of Antiquity 2, pt. 2 (Boston: Dept. of Classical Art, Museum of Fine Art, 1980), pp. 133, no. 115, 269, fig. 115, ill.

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

Hannestad, Niels. Tradition in Late Antique Sculpture. Acta Jutlandica LXIX. Aarhus: 1994, Part II, p. 122.

"Acquisitions/1994." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 23 (1995), p. 61, no. 1.

Mitchell, Stephen. Cremna in Pisidia: An Ancient City in Peace and in War. London 1995, pp. 16, 55.

Willers, Dietrich. "Das ende der antiken Idealstatue," Museum Helveticun 53 (1996), pp. 170-186, pp. 183-84; fig. 1.

Towne Markus, Elana. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 122.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), pp. 166-67.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 44, 81, ill.

Curtis, Penelope, ed. Scultura Lingua Morta: Sculpture from Facist Italy, Exhibition cat. (Leeds: Henry Moore Institute, 2003), fig. 22 (ill. only, no text).

Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), p. 274, fig. 432.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 167.

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).