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What Is a Muse?

A muse is influential in the creative arts as they provide focus, inspiration and motivation for creative work. Artists, musicians, poets and writers often attribute their work to a muse. Historically, men fall in love with a woman and make her the subject of their work, thus calling her a muse.

Greek mythology speaks of the nine muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who were the goddesses of the arts and sciences. The word muse forms the root of words such as music, mosaic and museum. The muses were believed to inspire all artists, if they loved a man, he would lose all his worries and problems and reach his potential thus becoming greater than a holy man. Successful artists often gain reputations more sacred than a holy man.

A muse can either be something spiritual or a living person. John Lennon’s muse was his wife Yoko Ono and she became the inspiration behind many of his songs and way of life. Pablo Picasso’s paintings show many different women. Whoever he met and loved became his muse and the subject of his work. This allowed him to portray varying emotions in his work from the exciting budding romance to the break down of the relationship. As someone who constantly needed new inspiration, Picasso broke a lot of women’s hearts as he was always eager to find a new muse.

Muses have certainly increased the potential of many artists, inspiring them to provide the world with wonderful creative works of art.

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