Art is both powerful and personal. Different pieces of art were created with different intentions. Various things inspire artists; some artists are inspired by nature while others are inspired by fantasy. However, the most common form of inspiration comes from another person - a muse.
There are people throughout history whose style and image has had the relentless power to not only captivate but influence an artist. These people are called muses and they aid artists in the creation of their masterpieces. Artists feed off the energy of their muses and create work that involves them, directly and indirectly.
The following feature examines some of the most famous and influential muses in the arts. This exploration through art history features the faces that influenced works of art. Each of the following ten individuals has possessed a form of power over the following ten incredible artists. Most people have the misconception that being someone’s muse entails being their lover, and although that has been the case at times, you will notice that sometimes the relationship between muse and artist is purely professional. The following ten people inspired artists who inspired generations, making these the ten most iconic muses in art throughout history.
10 Marie-Therese Walter - Muse of Pablo Picasso
9 Coco Young - Muse of Ryan McGinley
8 Brigitte Bardot - Muse of Roger Vadim
7 Dora Maar - Muse of Pablo Picasso
6 Victorine Meurent - Muse of Edouard Manet
5 The Girl With The Pearl Earring - Muse of Johannes Vermeer
4 Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe
3 Lee Miller - Muse of Man Ray
2 Georgia O'Keeffe - Muse of Alfred Stieglitz
1 Edie Sedgwick - Muse of Andy Warhol
Edie Sedgwick was a stunning heiress and model, and was known for being one of Warhol’s main muses. The wild child was definitely a free spirit; she spent her entire inheritance in the span of six month. She appeared mostly in Warhol’s underground movies and gained fans due to her incredible style. Sedgwick was never mentally stable; she was hospitalized on two separate occasions. When she met Andy, the two became inseparable; she was looking to find a purpose and he was inspired by her enough to give her one. Sadly, Edie passed away at the young age of 28 due to her alcohol and drug problems, which many blame Warhol for. Warhol was extremely inspired by Edie and she will forever be known as an influence on his work. There is even a movie about her entitled Factory Girl where Sienna Miller portrays Sedgwick.
Sources: theguardian.com, npr.org, nymag.com, biography.com
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