Muse Uncovering the Hidden Figures Behind Art History's Masterpieces

Hardback (07 Apr 2022)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'Exhilarating and fascinating' KATY HESSEL | 'Rich and detailed' CHLOË ASHBY | 'Enlightening' TABISH KHAN | 'Sheds light on an uncharted area of art history' JENNY PERY | 'An essential read' EDWARD BROOKE-HITCHING

Meet the unexpected, overlooked and forgotten models of art history.


Who was Picasso's 'Weeping Woman'?
Why was Grace Jones covered in graffiti?
How did Francis Bacon meet the burglar who became his muse?

The perception of the muse is that of a passive, powerless model, at the mercy of an influential and older artist. But is this trope a romanticised myth? Far from posing silently, muses have brought emotional support, intellectual energy, career-changing creativity and practical help to artists.

Muse tells the true stories of the incredible muses who have inspired art history's masterpieces. From Leonardo da Vinci's studio to the covers of Vogue, art historian, critic and writer Ruth Millington uncovers the remarkable role of muses in some of art history's most well-known and significant works. Delving into the real-life relationships that models have held with the artists who immortalised them, it will expose the influential and active part they have played and deconstruct reductive stereotypes, reframing the muse as a momentous and empowered agent of art history.

Book information

ISBN: 9781529110418
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Square Peg
Pub date:
DEWEY: 704.9424
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 303
Weight: 442g
Height: 139mm
Width: 205mm
Spine width: 32mm