Erato, Muse of Poetry. Edward John Poynter (1836-1919). Watercolour. Bridgeman Art Library
Erato was one of the nine Mousai (Muses), the goddesses of music, song and dance. Her name means “the lovely” or “beloved” from the Greek word eratos. In Classical times, when the Muses were assigned specific artistic spheres, she was named Muse of erotic poetry and mimic imitation and represented holding a lyre.
Thalia and Erato, Muses of Comedy (c.1680). Louis de Boullogne the Younger (French, 1654-1733). Oil on canvas. Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau.
Thalia, who holds up a comic mask, is the Muse who presides over comedy and idyllic poetry. In this context her name means “flourishing”, because the praises in her songs flourish through time. Erato, who plays a cithara, an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre family, is the Muse of lyric poetry, especially love and erotic poetry.
Erato, the Muse of lyric poetry… Well, more like love and erotic poetry ;)
She is one of the loveliest Muses, and a usual companion of Eros (and vice versa), as their names share the same Greek word for “love”. She’s usually described as having a crown made of myrtle and roses, holding a lyre and a golden arrow, surrounded by doves and music… You know, the usual fluffy stuff ^_^
Just been sent this so I’m sharing it with everyone. I love these girlies voices. Can you believe it when she doesn’t get high fived at the end? So cringe. Love it anyway. (and it makes a nice change from Dead Meadow on repeat) Enjoy my wee beauties. xxx