For two larger but clearly related antithetical figures of Melpomene originally decorating the stage building of the theater at Aphrodisias, each holding a mask, similarly draped in a somewhat archaistic style, and probably with one arm formerly raised, see K.T. Erim and R.R.R. Smith, “Sculpture from the Theatre: A Preliminary Report,” Aphrodisias Papers 2, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1991, p. 70, figs. 4 and 5. In the reconstruction suggested by the excavators in the Aphrodisias Museum, the two figures of Melpomene flank a torso of the god Apollo which was also found in the central part of the stage.
According to the LIMC article, the two statues at Aphrodisias and the present one, possibly from Thyateira (see Buchler, op. cit.) all reflect the same prototype designated as the “Melpomene Aphrodisias/Tyatheira” (also see B. Ridgway, Hellenistic Sculpture III: The Styles of ca. 100-31 B.C, Madison, Wis., 2002, p. 150, note 3), which itself goes back to a 2nd Century B.C. type represented by the caryatids from the theater at Miletus (illus. in Fullerton, op. cit., 1987, pl. 19-3-4).
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