Inspired by the Muses

When in the late 18th and early 19th Century excavations in Southern Italy, Greece and Turkey started to reveal the long forgotten ancient history of the Etruscans, Romans and Greeks, this was very inspiring to people in Northern Europe. After many centuries of dominance of the Christian Church, this was a whole new world opening up. Here was a world full of gods and goddesses who were full of life, flawed, and passionate (and much of the time up to no good!) like humans. People started digging out the ancient myths that had been stacked away in books for centuries, and they inspired a new way of thinking.

Part of this was a new aesthetic that was, like the ancient Classical aesthetic, simple yet refined. This was refreshing after the ever-more-lavish decorations that people had become used to.