Taurus Self-portraits

Tuesday May 10th 2011

Leonardo’s newly discovered self-portrait.
His Sun is at 3° Taurus adjusted
from the gregorian calendar.

Many years ago, I used to work with a lot of graphic designers. Of course, all sun signs were represented in this group, but the one that cropped up most often was Taurus.

Taurus is ruled by Venus, of course, who is the planet of art as well as of love and beauty. Venus’s genius is the creation of harmony. 

One of the things I notice with these Taurean artists is the raw talent. Leonardo da Vinci (left) is probably still the most famous artist who ever lived. He was a polymath – inventor, scientist and artist. But the thing most of us remember him for is his sheer brilliance at drawing.

JMW Turner – also 23 April

It’s interesting that JMW Turner, the 19th century Londoner, chose to paint such a dark self-portrait, because he was famous for the way he captured light on canvas. He wasn’t that great a draughtsman, but he made up for that by handling paint and colour with a fluency and vigour that is still fresh and exciting to look at now.

He was also seriously interested in making money – also a characteristic of the Bull.

Another Taurean artist with an interest in making a buck was Salvador Dali, who famously signed blank pieces of paper for other people to finish off. His signature was worth more than the work itself. It’s a shame because he really could paint and draw.

Salvador Dali (May 11)

Joan Miro, April 20

Another Catalan surrealist Joan Miro was also born under the sign of the bull, although only just in sign. Miro is, of course, better known for his strange squiggly paintings filled with little characters and his bold colours.

On the other side of Europe in Germany, the expressionist Ernst Kirchner was experimenting with portraying himself in different costumes and settings. His bold, emotional work was called “degenerate” by the Nazis and he killed himself before the outbreak of World War II.

Ernst Kirchner, May 6.

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  1. Charles says:

    Taurus artist and painter chipping in here…

    I think you’ve misread the reporting on that painting, it is most definitely not a self-portrait of Leonardo. It is allegedly a portrait OF Leonardo, but not BY Leonardo. Anyone who studied his work (as I have) can take one look at it and immediately tell it isn’t the work of that great master.

    Also, you’ve got that Dali story a bit wrong too. Towards the end of his life, Dali got conned into signing stacks of blank paper, which were then printed with fakes of his work. I know about this because my Mom bought one of these fakes.

  2. Christina says:

    Thanks for the Leonardo correction.

    Dali – he may or may not have been complicit in the scam. I lean towards complicity in a bonkers sort of way.

    I keep on thinking I should do a chart comparison between him and Elvis since there are similarities in their stories.

    Do you have any Taurus artists that you think are especially Bullish?

  3. Christina says:


    Here is one of the articles I read about Leonardo. It says they’re not sure but the back of the painting bears the inscription pinxit mea in Leonardo’s handwriting, which translates roughly (although there’s some dispute) as “painted by me” or, according to Google translate “has painted my”. This has led to some suggestions that it’s a self portrait.

  4. I’m always riveted by your artist-heavy posts. It’s like giving my brain a warm fizzy bath.

    I won’t venture an opinion on the Leonardo portrait, being a few neurons and a few hours short of being either a functional artist or a Taurus. I do say that one of the most interesting things about him — admittedly a slow second to his body of work, as anything must be — is the persistent swirl of controversy. Nothing that touched him remained untouched, so to speak: neither his art, nor philosophy, nor religion, nor private life are all that clear to me. Only that overwhelming brilliance at his work.

  5. Christina says:

    I agree – part of his legacy is a trail of rumour, mystery, uncertainty and intrigue. I wonder where Neptune is in his chart.

  6. Christina says:

    aha. right at the top of the chart conjunct the MC. Thank you aya