Terpsichore, Muse of Dance (1739). Jean-Marc Nattier (French, 1685–1766). Oil on canvas. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
In Greek mythology, Terpsichore (delight in dancing) was one of the nine Muses, ruling over dance and the dramatic chorus. She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre.
Nattier became the painter of the artificial ladies of Louis XV’s court. He subsequently revived the genre of the allegorical portrait, in which a living person is depicted as a Greco-Roman goddess or other mythological figure.