Posts Tagged ‘art history’
Last night I dreamed Degas painted Mitt pirouetting en tutu.
Not really! but in a swirl of cross pollination, here’s a just-written post where my last entry (scroll below) concerning Edgar Degas is mentioned and linked along with some possibly irritating personal opinions on this week’s Politics in Washington and on Mitt Romney’s self-justifying candidacy:
http://starsoverwashington.blogspot.com/2007/12/wednesdays-politics-uninspiring.html …just remember that it’s all complimentary pour vous!
As you know, artist Edgar Degas (1834–1917) suffered deteriorating eyesight–a serious dilemma for anyone, but a great tragedy for a visual artist.
Degas’ natal chart is rated A for accuracy at http://www.astrodatabank.com
so we may be confident in its use. Here you see it with original, detached Aquarius rising–and rebellious Uranus–which had been sighted years prior to Degas’ birth–soon to rise in 1st house of Self (click chart to enlarge.)
Degas is known to have been difficult within friendships and other relationships yet he was fairly amiable with kith and kin. The disruptive, sometimes icy influence of Uranus opposes relational Venus giving him distance with the ladies–a bachelor, he preferred to devote himself to his artwork and studio life–yet the aspect also gives brilliance in Art and a tendency toward voyeurism. Uranus with Venus = original Art.
(Venus’s wide opposition to Uranus is often called the “divorce aspect” and a certain liking for variety in relationships is certainly indicated along with much quirkiness.)
His earthy desire nature (Mars in Taurus) in 3rd house of Communications and Siblings made quarrels likely with his brother and with neighbors; and Saturn, the father, is in 8th house of shared resources–Saturn is exalted in Libra. Degas’ father, Auguste De Gas, was an Italian banker whose money made Degas’ art studies and explorations possible.
Also we see his earthy Taurean desires exhibited in his subject matter as ladies of the evening, etc., tending to mundane things like washing up. Chiron, the Wound or BLINDSPOT, is near Mars although out-of-sign for a wide conjunction; plus, with Jupiter (ruler of the liver) conjunct Chiron, I suspect that liver problems may have been at least a part of his eye problems…perhaps qualifying as an underlying condition which weakened his eyesight and immune system.
Immoderation with alcohol and other drugs would have exacerbated his health situation for Mars/Jupiter conjunctions can tend toward overindulgence, as we know. Degas may have had a diabetes/eye connection as well…wouldn’t surprise me at all esp since his eyesight deteriorated (macular degeneration?)
A mentally active AIR Grand Trine involving Saturn, Neptune, and Jupiter also relate to father–the Grand Trine is a closed circuit of energies which gave Degas self-containment–good for a frustrated-in-love fellow who liked to work alone, thanks.
(And yes, his Venus-Neptune contact points to ‘anima confusion’ received in childhood from mama–was he perhaps gay or simply a frustrated, disillusioned celibate? Perhaps no one really knows, and you can’t be sure from looking at a natal chart–yet sexual frustration certainly shows along with his preference for isolation.)
Moon in Cap indicates what may have been a rather cold-hearted mother–a difficult example for adult relationships but tres helpful with career matters which may be used as a substitute for intimacy. Famous people of modern times are still using it!
With Sagittarius at MC (Career; Public Status; Aspirations and Goals) Degas desperately wanted recognition in his profession, a fact supported by an ambitious Capricorn Moon in the behind-the-scenes 12th house…another indication of emotional fulfillment bwo solitary work, along with artfully inspired Neptune–there, but not to be discovered until 1846.
Eternally dissatisfied Neptune is, of course, fairly happy in Pisces’ natural 12th house…or as good as the nebulous, gaseous giant can get in any horoscope.
Sassily, I do so love to place the outer planets in historical charts even if the native had never heard of Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto (or Chiron) in their lifetimes!
So it seems Edgar had a liking for variety in Art as well, for he explored many art forms during his career, among them photography which is said to be “ruled” by Neptune as evidenced by the invention and rise of photography around the time of Neptune’s sighting.
(I use ” ” around the word, ruled, because I don’t use outer planets as rulers but as higher frequencies–in Neptune’s case, of Venus–or as undertones of the energies involved. Call me traditional–don’t mind if you do.
Basically Venus-Neptune = Art…but also delusions within romance and other relationships. And as with most things in life, Astrology describes positives along with negatives simultaneously–just as experience teaches us.
Sun in creative Cancer gives a talent for business and a self-protective over-sensitivity like a crab scuttling sideways from any emotional encumbrances or difficulties. Sun is in 6th house of Work, Service, and Health which further weakened his immune system while giving him a place to ‘shine’–in his artwork, drafts of which he repeated over and over and over again until he got it ‘right’. Touchy North Node in Gemini tends to do this, too, with its aloofness and a need to always be right–in other words, he was self-righteous.
Also, a Gemini NN doesn’t truly listen to people when they talk assuming that it knows what’s about to be said–another fly in the relationship ointment which may cause all sorts of disagreements. And Degas’ NN is in the 5th house of Romance…he met plenty of candidates but had little if any patience with them while taking himself too seriously.
Breaking with the Impressionists in 1886, Degas continued exploring his own path in Art, and certainly the outdoor habits of his Impressionist friends must have been anathema to him for sunlight caused his poor eyes much pain. This left him free (Uranus!) to develop as he liked, resulting in a more modern, contemporary style which still amazes in its complexities, strength, and brilliance.
Degas’ steadily declining eyesight was thought by him to have begun during his service in the Franco-Prussian War due to exposure to extreme cold. Yet he had a few years to become well-thought-of by his art colleagues and by the public for his paintings, and later on for pastels, sculptures, engravings, lithographies, printmaking, aquatints, and as mentioned, photography.
Shy and aloof, Hillaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (born De Gas), former student of the great Ingres, is known as a master whose darkened life ended as a recluse in Paris working with clay figures of women and horses.
Such sensitive fingers he must have had!
Edgar Degas passed away on Sept 27, 1917, after which his brother destroyed some of his brothel drawings apparently considering them to be too naughty for public viewing, yet his beautiful ballet dancers, his brothel scenes, cabaret tableaux, ladies in their private baths, and horse races live on.
Read artist Robert Genn’s take on Degas here:
and don’t be surprised if you notice a certain similarity of subject and theme (but certainly not talent) in some of my own figure studies at:
http://cosmicpersonadesigns.blogspot.com for with my art background in Fashion Illustration and Design, I too enjoy drawing theatrical women, ballet dancers, and private moments in the lives of what I know best for I am one–ladies in their mundane lives.