Metropolitan Museum of Art Cast Collection


Plaster cast of a relief depicting a muse with a lyre. Original is housed in the Archaeological Museum, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, circa 2nd-1st century BCE.

Publication Date


Type of Artwork


Time Period/Geographical Region

Ancient Greece

Height (cm/in)

68.58 cm / 27 in

Width (cm/in)

40.64 cm / 16 in

Depth (cm/in)

7.62 cm / 3 in


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Sculpture


The Nine Muses were goddesses of the ancient world that gave artists, musicians, writers, and performers inspiration in their craft. This Greek relief likely represents Calliope, muse of epic poetry, or Terpsichore, muse of dance, who are both represented holding a lyre. More specifically, she plays an instrument from the lyre family called a kithara. This is an example of sculpture from the Hellenistic period, which begins in 323 BCE with Alexander the Great's death, and ends with the rise of the Roman Empire. In this post-Classical period, Greek cultural influence was at its peak throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa.



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Muse with Lyre (Kithara)


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