Generally, a guiding spirit or source of inspiration. In Greek mythology, the nine patron goddesses of the arts; daughters of Zeus (principal god of the Greek pantheon, ruler of the heavens) and Mnemosyne (a titan who personified memory.) They were: Calliope (muse of epic or heroic poetry and eloquence), Euterpe (muse of music and lyric poetry; her attribute the flute), Erato (muse of love poetry), Polyhymnia (muse of oratory or sacred poetry), Clio (muse of history), Melpomene (muse of tragedy), Thalia (or Talia, muse of comedy), Terpsichore (muse of choral song and dance), and Urania (muse of astronomy). They are led by Apollo as god of music and poetry, and Mt. Parnassus is their home. From the word "muse" the words music, museum, and mosaic were derived.(pr. myooz, MYOO-zəz)Example images of muses:Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483-1520), central group in Parnassus, 1508-1511, fresco, Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican. Sitting (left to right) in this detail: Calliope, Apollo, and Terpsichore; standing: Thalia, Clio, Euterpe, Urania, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, and Erato.Paul Manship (American, 1886-1966), Lyric Muse, 1912, bronze, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. See Art Deco. Saul Steinberg (American, born Romania, 1914-1999), The painter's muse brings flowers, a cartoon drawing, pen and ink on paper, published in The New Yorker Magazine.Quote: "The man who arrives at the doors of artistic creation with none of the madness of the Muses, would be convinced that technical ability alone was enough to make an artist . . . what that man creates by means of reason will pale before the art of inspired beings." Plato (c. 428/7