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Four - Divine Music in Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2024

Carolyn Laferrière
Affiliation:
Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
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Summary

Chapter four examines the Muses, the sole female divinities who are regularly depicted as musicians in the surviving visual material. The ambiguity inherent to their representation, where it is never clear whether they are goddesses or human women, allows for their bodies to become visual forms capable of taking on multiple identities. Laferrière considers the images within their original contexts, including the domestic sphere, the cemetery, the sanctuary, and the symposium, to examine how the images invited their viewers to imagine the sounds of divine music and what effect this visualized music had upon the viewing audience. In each instance, she argues that the depictions of the Muses respond to the spaces in which they are encountered, so that their visual interpretation becomes inherently multivalent and malleable. When representations of the Muses are considered within a range of possible contexts of use, the vases make a powerful statement about the Muses: not only may they appear in any context or work through any female figure, but as divinities who are flexible in their visual representation, the Muses become visual forms capable of taking on multiple identities.

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Chapter
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Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
Seeing the Songs of the Gods
, pp. 158 - 199
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Divine Music in Context
  • Carolyn Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
  • Book: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009315906.005
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  • Divine Music in Context
  • Carolyn Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
  • Book: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009315906.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Divine Music in Context
  • Carolyn Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
  • Book: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009315906.005
Available formats
×