01 Painting, Olympian deities, Louis Welden Hawkins’ Muse Erato on a Deserted Beach, with footnotes # 44

Louis Welden Hawkins (French, 1849–1910)
Muse Erato on a Deserted Beach (Spirit of the Waves)

Oil on canvas
17 x 21 3/4 in. (43.2 x 8.6cm)
Private collection

In Greek mythology, Erato is one of the Greek Muses. The name would mean “desired” or “lovely”, if derived from the same root as Eros, as Apollonius of Rhodes playfully suggested in the invocation to Erato that begins Book III of his Argonautica.

Erato is the Muse of love poetry. In the Orphic hymn to the Muses, it is Erato who charms the sight. Since the Renaissance she has mostly been shown with a wreath of myrtle and roses, holding a lyre, or a small kithara, a musical instrument often associated with Apollo. Other representations may show her holding a golden arrow, reminding one of the “eros”, the feeling that she inspires in everybody, and at times she is accompanied by the god Eros, holding a torch. More on Erato

Louis Welden Hawkins (1849–1910) was born in Germany of English parents, later taking French nationality. He was a detailed Symbolist painter.

Hawkins was born in Stuttgart, Germany on 1 July 1849.  He moved to France and later took French nationality. Hawkins attended the Académie Julian in Paris and rose to fame after his expositions in the Salon de la Société des Artistes Francais. His first works were shown in the Salon in 1881. After that, expositions followed at the Salon de la Société des Beaux Artes (1894–1911), the Salon de la Rose+Croix (1894–95) and La Libre Esthétique in Brussels. He lived for a period with Camille Pelletan, a radical socialist politician, and he continued to move in radical circles. In his Portrait of Séverine (1895), he shows a popular journalist, Caroline Rémy (1855-1929) who was a famous defender of humanitarian causes. He was also friendly with artists such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Auguste Rodin, whose portrait he painted.

He spent his last years in Brittany, where he painted mostly landscapes.

Louis Welden Hawkins died on 1 May 1910 and was honoured a year later at the Salon Nationale. More on Louis Welden Hawkins

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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