The ideology of The Muses endured thought the ages, with references to them appearing in plays, sonnets, novels, paintings, plays and more. The Muses gained in popularity during the Renaissance. Paintings,[...], depicting The Muses in various settings were produced in some proliferation during this time period. The Muses were also popular decoration for Renaissance Tarot Decks.
Many Enlightenment figures sought to re-establish a "Cult of the Muses" in the eighteenth century. A famous Masonic lodge in pre-Revolutionary Paris was called Les Neuf Soeurs ("nine sisters", that is, the nine Muses), and was attended by Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Danton and other influential Enlightenment figures. One side-effect of this movement was the use of the word "museum" (originally, "cult place of the Muses") to refer to a place for the public display of knowledge.
Home of the Muses was Mount Helicon in Central Greece, a mountain that was sacred to the Greek god Apollo, the Greek god of the music, the light and the sun. Their most significant sanctuary was in Pieria, close to Mount Olympus. For this reason, they were often called Pierides.
Ancient Greeks believed that the Muses inspired the writing and performance of songs that honored famous events and noble deeds. Pindar wrote that, if people were successful, they would hope that the Muses would see to it that their success was recorded in song. Like their mother, the Muses - whose name in Greek means "remembrances" - were regarded as patronesses of memory. 902
All learning was under the patronage of the Muses. Schools commonly had shrines to the Muses, and any place dedicated to them was known as a mouseion, the source of our word "museum”. Areas with many wells and springs were places where the Muses were most frequently venerated throughout Greece. The area of Boeotia, near Helicon, remained the favorite place of the Muses, and there they were more adored than elsewhere.
The muses would entertain the gods on Mount Olympus together with the Graces. They won over the Sirens in a song competition and got their feathers as a price. In art, the muses were often depicted with these feathers in their hair.
The Muses were the goddesses of human inspirations. It was said that they were earlier the deities of springs. The Muses were led by the god Apollo is various forms of song and dance. [...] They were best known as being singers and dancers at the parties held by the gods, and were the inspiration of poetry, music, and dance.
The Muses first appear in the works of Homer and Hesiod as goddesses on whom the epic poet relies for his inspiration, his memory and aspects of his knowledge. In the introductory section of the Theogony, Hesiod tells how the Muses of Mt Helikon once approached him as he was shepherding his flocks under the mountain and granted him his gift of song, breathing a divine voice into him to enable him to celebrate things that will be and things that have been in times gone by.
In classical sculpture each of the nine Mousai was clearly defined with specific attributes: Melpomene as the Muse of tragedy held a tragic mask, Thaleia the Muse of Comedy a comedy mask, Terpsikhore Muse of Dance a lyre, Kalliope the Muse of Epic Poetry a lyre or writing pestle, Kleio the Muse of History a stylus and scroll, Polyhymnia the Muse of Religious Hymns conservative veil and pensive posture, Ourania the Muse of Astronomy a globe, Erato the Muse of Erotic Poetry a lyre and Euterpe the Muse of Lyric Poetry a flute.
The Greek goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. They were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The number of Muses varies over time; initially there was but one, and later there is mention of three: Melete, Mneme, and Aoede (the Elder Muses). They were nymphs in Pieria, western Thrace, and their cult was brought to Helicon in Boeotia by the Aloadae. Usually there is mention of nine muses: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania, the Younger Muses.