Wednesday, July 1, 2009

being inspired by the muse

Harmony in Red [La desserte], Spring 1908

"Here is the painter Henri Matisse, describing what happened when, after having to take a leave of absence from his occupation in the legal profession, he took up painting as a hobby: 'I had become possessed by painting and could not abstain. When I started to paint, felt transported to a kind of paradise ... Something drove me, I do not know what, a force, something alien to my normal life as a man.' Mozart reportedly wrote down symphonies as quickly as if he were listening to them and transcribing. Nor is the idea of the muse especially Western. The Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan said that his equations were whispered to him by the Goddess Namagiri."
- Alice W. Flaherty, The Midnight Disease, p.237

An earlier reference to Matisse here.