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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art


In Greek mythology the Muses—their number varied—were daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Eventually nine were identified with the arts and associated with specific attributes:

Calliope: epic poetry, tablet and stylus

Clio—history, book roll

Erato: lyric poetry, lyre

Euterpe: music, flute

Melpomene: tragedy, tragic mask

Polymnia: sacred poetry, thoughtful expression

Terpsichore: dance and choral song, lyre or dancing

Thalia: comedy, comic mask

Urania: astronomy, globe