Thursday, April 11, 2019


[Muses'] gifts of song, dance, and joy helped the gods and mankind to forget their troubles and inspired musicians and writers to reach ever greater artistic and intellectual heights.
~Ancient History Encyclopedia

For Art Thursday, we have the heavenly muse Urania, goddess of astronomy. It's interesting, since the muses are the goddesses of the arts, that astronomy was considered one of the arts (and history was as well). Urania is generally shown looking up, sometimes shown with a halo of stars. I knew Apollo (the "Muse-leader") was the Sun God but I hadn't realized that he was also the god of Eloquence. You can see in the below painting what an effect he is having, not only on Urania but on the swans.

Apollo, God of Light, Eloquence, Poetry and the Fine Arts with Urania, Muse of Astronomy
by Charles Meynier

Urania, 1592
by Hendrik Goltzius

Urania from Apollo and the Muses on the Parnassus, circa 1750
by Johann Joachim Kaendler

Urania and Polyhymnia
photo by ManfredK (cropped)

1 comment:

HWY said...

Had no idea that there were Muses of astronomy and history. Thanks for the information.

Urania looking up in art works does make sense now, doesn't it?

The piece by Johann Joachim Kaendler is stunning. Painted porcelain?