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Polyhymnia, Muse of Religious Poetry, c. 1836
Plaster. 64 cm diameter
Inventory number: A334
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Polyhymnia, Muse of Religious Poetry, is recognised by the modesty of her attire and by a pose suggesting a cross. According to Greek mythology, the nine muses, the goddesses of music, poetry and subsequently also other intellectual pursuits such as art in its broadest sense, history, philosophy and astronomy were born on Olympus as the daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne, and there entertaining the other gods. Meanwhile, they also revealed themselves to human beings, who attributed them with omniscience and a supernatural but strange ability to inspire. The words music and museum are derived from the word muse.