Why everyone should have a muse.


I have always been fascinated with the concept of being/having a muse, even if it seems like a bit of a classical notion in today's society. A muse is someone who inspires a creative person, there are many muses alive and well today who are going about their daily responsibilities of inspiring their assigned artist, musician or writer.

The truth is that being creative and keeping productivity flowing can be a lonely and uncertain occupation. Having someone there to bounce ideas off and who will bring reassurance in moments of self-doubt is a relationship that many creatives can't function without.

The relationship between artist and muse is a strange one and contrary to popular belief and the suspicions of partners, not always sexual.

Lucien Freud acquired a rather odd muse in the form of benefits supervisor Sue Tilley who posed for him a couple of times a week over nine months in 1995, she was paid £20 a day and the portrait below went on to sell of £17.2 million at auction.

Gustav Klimt had a lifelong companion called Emilie Floge who was the younger sister of his sister-in-law. She was 12 years his junior and accompanied Klimt on public occasions, often wearing the fabric of his designs. Despite their closeness their relationship was never sexual and Klimt actually fathered 14 children to other women. She is said to be the woman as featured in Klimts most famous piece, '˜The Kiss' as shown below.

Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, also known as Gala, was the most prominent muse of the surrealist movement. She initially married the surrealist poet Paul Eluard in 1927 before having a two year relationship with Max Ernst and then going on to marry Salvador Dali and would stay by his side for the rest of her life. He stated that she was the perfect muse, possessing a sensitivity for art as well as intellectual and physical beauty. It would seem that just about everyone in the surrealist group was in love with her. After she died in 1982 Dali's creativity was lost.

And who can forget perhaps the most famous muse and artist coupling ever, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, a fierce bond which worries bands and their respective bandmate's WAGS even today.

A common muse/musician combination seems to be model/rockstar. Think Patti Boyd and Eric Clapton, Kate Moss and Pete Doherty. These are always tempestuous relationships, but then the role of the muse is to channel and tease out creative energy, not to be an unquestioning girlfriend.

I like the concept of being a muse, or even having one. Perhaps most of us have several that we are not even aware function as muses. It is an interesting and romantic notion.

Jessica Hazel

Writer, blogger and vintage trader.


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