Sunday, August 26, 2012

ARTS AND MUSES







The Muses started out as nymphs then evolved into the goddess daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus.
 
KALLIOPE (Calliope) – Muse of epic poetry - symbol: an iPad.
KLIO (Clio) – Muse of history – symbol: a scroll.
ERATO Muse of erotic and lyrical poetry – symbol: a kithara (hefty lyre).

EUTERPE – muse of music, song, elegiac poetry – symbol: an aulos (flute).
MELPOMENE – muse of tragedy – symbol: a sad mask.
POLYHYMNIA – muse of  pantomime, rhetoric, hymns - symbol: a veil.
TERPSICHORE – muse of dance and choral music – symbol: lyre.
THALIA – muse of comedy – symbol: a happy mask.
URANIA – muse of astronomy and geometry – symbols: globe, compass.

Presumably because we need all the help we can get, writers get the first seven muses but artists get none. What? It’s not as if there was no art in ancient Greece, heck, you can see some of it above. This is puzzling. Of course there is ATHENA the goddess of Arts and Crafts but she’s not a muse. Muses are goddesses but, apparently, goddesses aren’t muses.

Anyway, since there are nine muses, why not nine arts? I’ll see your muses and raise you three arts:
     
     1) ART (painting, drawing)
     2) POETRY (we assume this includes literature)
     3) SCULPTURE
     4) DANCE
     5) MUSIC
     6) ARCHITECTURE
     7) CINEMA
     8) FRAGRANCE  (or  COMICS. . .  More on comics.)
     9) HAUTE CUISINE  
 
The CINEMA would have all the muses for inspiration and the muses of COMICS would have to be Hergé, Moebius and Gil Kane. But who'd be the muses of Architecture, Fragrance and haute cuisine?  
 Any ideas?
                                                      Disney's muses from HERCULES                                            
  *
ART, POETRY, CINEMA, FRAGRANCE, COMICS, CUISINE, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, SCULPTURE, DANCE, MUSES, ARTS






3 comments:

Vicky Holloway said...

Hi Nora :)

I believe this has to do with the primacy of oral epic and drama, the origins of the drama being in ritual worship of the gods.

The origins of lyric poetry are probably to be found in drama as well - as dramatic choruses were sung and danced.

You're right about Athena! The plastic arts were regarded more as craft and came under the aegis of Athene goddess of Tekhne. The term 'Tekhne' has to do with artifice rather than creativity.

By the time of Classical Greek art, as in the image you have provided, these patternss of thought would have already been established.

Nora Lumiere said...

Thank you Vicky!

Nora Lumiere said...

From Brewsternorth on Twitter:
"Heh. I think one of the architectural "muses" would have to be Palladio, the name's almost a byword."