In the most ancient works of art, we find only three Muses; their attributes are musical instruments, such as the flute, the lyre, or the barbiton. Later, artists gave each of the nine sisters different attributes and attitudes, adding a brief account.
- Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, appears with a tablet, stylus, and sometimes a paper roll.
- Cleio, the Muse of history, appears in a sitting attitude, with an open roll of paper or an open chest of books.
- Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry, with a flute; 4. Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy, with a tragic mask, the club of Heracles, or a sword, her head is surrounded with vine leaves, and she wears the cothurnus.
- Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy, with a tragic mask, the club of Heracles, or a sword; her head is surrounded with vine leaves, and she wears the cothurnus
- Terpsichore, the Muse of choral dance and song, appears with the lyre and the plectrum
- Erato, the Muse of erotic poetry and mimic imitation, sometimes has the lyre.
- Polymnia, or Polyhymnia, the Muse of the sublime hymn, usually appears without any attribute in a reflective or meditating attitude;
- Urania, the Muse of astronomy, with a staff pointing to a globe.
- Thaleia, the Muse of comedy and merry or idyllic poetry, appears with the comic mask, a shepherd's staff, or a wreath of ivy.