The Muse Erato Writing Verses Inspired by Love

Charles Meynier French

Not on view

A student of François André Vincent, Meynier made his Salon debut in 1795. Two years later he received a commission from François-Bernard Boyer-Fonfrède, a textile manufacturer, for nine large canvases depicting Apollo and the Muses. Only five were completed; they are today in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

In this study, Erato, the muse of lyrical poetry, writes verses using Love’s arrow as he whispers in her ear. In its cool elegance, Meynier’s drawing recalls the erotic mythological vein in the oeuvre of Jacques Louis David. It is thus not surprising to find listed in the catalogue of Meynier’s estate sale the delicate oil sketch David made for his 1788 painting The Loves of Paris and Helen.

The Muse Erato Writing Verses Inspired by Love, Charles Meynier (French, Paris 1768–1832 Paris), Pen and black ink, brush and gray wash, heightened with white gouache, over black chalk on brown paper; squared in black chalk

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