Oval Medallion: Apollo and the Muses

Painted enamel oval medallion depicting Apollo and the Muses

Suzanne de Court (act. ca. 1600)
Oval Medallion: Apollo and the Muses
Limoges, ca. 1600
Enamel on copper, parcel-gilt
4 1/4 × 3 1/2 in. (10.8 × 8.9 cm)
Marks (at top of plaque): S.C.
Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.



This composition representing Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon derives from a print by Giorgio Ghisi (1520–1582) that was made after a drawing by Luca Penni (1500 or 1504–1557). Flanked by a putto and Pegasus, Apollo is playing his lyre on deep green grass. Two bearded men wearing laurel wreaths, perhaps poets, are gesturing in his direction. Seated at their feet are the Muses: Erato, the Muse of lyric poetry; Calliope, of epic poetry; Thalia, of comedy and pastoral poetry; Urania, of astronomy; Terpsichore, of dance; Melpomene, of tragedy; Euterpe, of music; Clio, of history; and Polyhymnia, of sacred poetry. The group is separated by a river into which the nymph Castalia pours water from a vase.

  285 — (1) Curator's Reflection (English) (2) Curator's Reflection (French)
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