The most famous muses of great artists. The artist and his muse
Simonetta Vespucci (Simonetta Dei Cattanei)
Beloved Sandro Botticelli
The wife of Marco Vespucci, whose brother, Amerigo, gave his name to America, discovered by Christopher Columbus.
The great artist Sandro Botticelli immortalized the beauty of Simonetta on his canvases. She is depicted in the center of almost every one of them, be it the Birth of Venus, Spring, or the Adoration of the Magi. Behind every female appearance one can feel the only one – the look of Simonetta, with whom he was hopelessly and unrequitedly in love.
Simonetta herself never saw his paintings – she died on April 26, 1476. She was no more than 23 years old. Sandro Botticelli will be buried at the feet of Simonetta 34 years after her death.
Sandro Botticelli Paintings
Elena Fourman. Peter Paul Rubens
Rubens second wife
In 1626, Rubens’s first wife, Isabella Brant, died. In 1630, he entered into a second marriage with Elena Fourman, who has since become in almost every painting of her husband.
The image of a young wife becomes the leitmotif of his work. Rubens writes to Helen in the form of the biblical Bathsheba (1635, Picture Gallery, Dresden), the goddess Venus (“The Court of Paris”, c. 1638), one of the three graces (c. 1639), includes her image in the painting “Garden of Love” (c. 1635 – everything in Prado), as if filled with laughter and exclamations of young couples gathered in the park, the rustle of silk dresses, the thrill of light and air. There are numerous portraits of Helen in wedding attire, with children (Louvre), with his eldest son Franz, for a walk with her husband in the garden (Old Pinakothek, Munich). The artist creates a rare in frankness of his personal feeling and captivating painting of the image of naked Elena with a velvet coat fur-trimmed over her shoulders (“Fur Coat”, c. 1630-40, Museum of the History of Art, Vienna)
Saskia van Eilenburg. Rembrandt
Saskia van Eilenburg
In many of his works, Rembrandt captured the face of Saskia. Three days after the engagement, he created a drawing in silver pencil, depicting Saskia in a large hat decorated with flowers, holding a flower. The painting was signed by the artist: “This is my wife at the age of 21, three days after our engagement, June 8, 1633.”
Also in 1633 her portraits were painted: “Laughing Saskia” (now in the Dresden Gallery) and “Portrait of Saskia in a red hat” (Kassel). In 1635, Rembrandt captured her in the film “The Prodigal Son in the Tavern”. Three times Rembrandt depicted Saskia in the image of Flora: in 1634 (Flora (Hermitage)), in 1641 (Dresden) and in 1660 (New York).
Portrait of the Duchess of Alba. Francisco de Goya
Duchess of Alba
Beloved, muse and patroness of Francesco Goya
Legends circulated about the Duchess of Maria Theresa Caetane del Pilor de Alba. Artists wrote pictures from her, poets dedicated poetry to her, bullfighters slaughtered bulls in her honor. She was called Venus, the star of Madrid – and even the Spanish Queen Marie-Louise hated her because her fame fades next to the name of this proud beauty.
Once the duchess complained to her friend aristocrats that she could not find a good painter for her full portrait. And she was invited to the workshop of the not very famous, but extremely talented painter Francesco Goya … Their passionate romance lasted seven years, all this time the Duchess of Alba was a muse that inspired the artist to create great masterpieces.
Pictures of Francisco de Goya
Suzanne Valadon Henri de Toulouse – Lautrec
The model of Auguste Renoir, Puvis de Chavannes, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
Marie Clementine Valadon (Susanne’s name is taken later) is the daughter of the washerwoman, the first woman artist to be admitted to the National Society of Fine Arts.
She began her successful career as a model: first she was noticed by Puvis de Chavannes, then she began to pose for Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Berthe Morisot. She survived novels with some of them, learned to draw from them. Suzanne’s drawings were the first of the artists to see Toulouse-Lautrec, and then Degas, who praised the purity of the lines and encouraged her to the career of the artist.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, Suzanne Valadon managed to achieve recognition and financial success in life.
Beloved Amedeo Modigliani
Jeanne worked as a model for the artist Tsuguharu Fujita. However, wanting to make a career in the field of art and having an extraordinary talent, she went to study at the Colarossi Academy.
In the spring of 1917, Jeanne Hébuterne met Amedeo Modigliani. In the four years they spent together, Modigliani managed to write about 25 portraits of this silent girl with sad eyes. She became an ideal model for an artist who always depicted pensive melancholy women in his paintings.
Hebuterne shared with Modigliani his most difficult years of poverty and illness. The day after the death of the artist, Jeanne, who carried his child, jumped out of the window, unable to survive separation.