1891 - 1919
Erato, Muse of Amatory Poetry

Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right
Image size: 58 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches (148 x 92 cm)
Gilt frame

Provenance
Exhibited at the Royal Academy 1893, no. 690

Little is known of this talented artist sadly, he exhibited at the Royal Academy nineteen times and at the Society of British Artists. Christie lived in London with his wife Lily who was also a painter.

The painting depicts Erato, Muse of Amatory, Poetry. Erato is the Muse of lyric poetry, especially love and erotic poetry. In the Orphic hymn to the Muses, it is Erato who charms the sight. Since the Renaissance she is often shown holding a lyre, or a small kithara, a musical instrument that Apollo or she herself invented.

This work is full of extraordinary warmth and feeling, cupid holds on tight to Erato who looks on towards the viewer in a nonchalance manner.  She holds a Lyre in her other hand, the lyre was a stringed musical instrument played by the ancient Greeks and was probably the most important and well-known instrument in the Greek world.

This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1893.

The Royal Academy show that year was extraordinarily popular: “For the next two or three months the safest and most constant topic over afternoon tea will be the merits of the Royal Academy exhibition.”

They worshiped in their droves: “Oxygen Wanted at the Royal Academy”, ran one headline.

Robert Christie lived in St. Johns Wood and Ladbrooke Grove.