Thalia the Muse of Comedy, Roman Marble at the British Museum, London

Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King. Today I’ll be taking you on a video and photographic tour of ‘Thalia’ the Muse of Comedy, which is a Roman 2nd Century Marble at the British Museum in London.

As always, I take all the photos and videos myself on location, ensuring you get an up-close and personal view of the fascinating world of art and culture. I’ll be popping in and out with commentary as this video progresses but for now let’s take a close up look.

Unearthed in 1776 at the ancient bath ruins in Ostia, Rome, this marble statue embodies Thalia, the Muse of Comedy in Greek mythology, one of the nine Muses overseeing comedy and idyllic poetry.

In Greek mythology, the Muses were pivotal as inspirational goddesses, guiding literature, science, and the arts. They were regarded as the source of knowledge in poetry, lyric songs, and myths passed down orally in ancient cultures.

The statue, carved in marble, depicts a woman in a chiton and himation, holding a pedum linked with the god Pan. The intricately detailed body, created later, contrasts with the separately carved ancient head. The head, adorned with a wreath of ivy leaves and buds, suggests a connection to a Maenad, though original identifications remain uncertain.

Thalia unveils her female form as the himation slips from her shoulders. The statue’s front is created with meticulous details, while the back is less intricately carved. Initially thought to represent a young goddess or heroine, the figure is now recognized as Thalia, Muse of Comedy, despite uncertainties in the initial identification.

By Anthony King (c)