Tura is showing off his oil painting skill here by reproducing brilliantly the reflection and transparency of these coral and rock crystal beads.
We can imagine how these wonderfully smooth, cool beads would feel against our skin. Although their size would make wearing them impossible.
They look like familiar objects but their scale and position, draped across a scallop shell, is, like everything else to do with our Muse, supernatural.
Tura's golden dolphins are beautiful creatures with their shiny ruby eyes and pearls at their fins.
There's nothing cuddly though about their snarling mouths and spikey, ferocious teeth. They are reminiscent of sea monsters and there is something rather menacing about their presence.
They are beautiful but in no way frivolous or approachable.
Easily missed in the bottom left-hand corner of the painting, is a man riding into the hills.
This human figure on a recognisable horse is in contrast to the fantastical Muse.
The countryside too would have reminded the Este of the hills around their hunting lodge at Belfiore near Ferrara where this painting once hung.
Another tiny human presence is the blacksmith seated and hammering away bottom right.
Why a blacksmith?
He could be there to represent the Muse's ability to inspire; the resounding sound of the hammer on metal suggestive of the rich and clear tones of poetry.
A green scallop shell frames Calliope's head like a sort of secular halo.
It too has something other-worldly about it.
Like the dolphins it's a sea creature. A hint perhaps at a connection between the Muses and the Sirens; creatures half bird half woman who lured sailors to their death with their song.