Art State of Mind

Which Painting Are You Based on Your Zodiac Sign?

Ruxi Rusu 22 November 2021 min Read

What is your zodiac sign? Western astrology is closely related to ancient Greek and Roman mythology and culture. Over time, each astrological star sign has developed its own associations with myths, animals, and symbols. Your zodiac sign describes your core personality traits, fears, and beliefs. Below, we have chosen 12 works of art for 12 zodiac signs. If you are curious which painting represents your star sign, keep reading to find out!

Aries, March 21–April 19

Commissioned by Ferdinando II de’ Medici, this painting serves as a commentary on the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), which wreaked havoc over Central Europe. The Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) used a variety of muted tones of gray, brown, and green for this artwork. Mars, the Roman god of war and military, is depicted as a heroic soldier at the center of the composition. His red, vivid cape draws a lot of attention. Amid the thunderous battle, a nude Venus is holding Mars by the arm—after all, she is his fervent lover. The goddess of love seems to be asking Mars to end the war. Agony and despair are looming in the disastrous scene. Rubens painted Consequences of War in the Flemish Baroque style.

The planet Mars is the ruler of Aries, so those under this zodiac sign are naturally competitive, ambitious, and courageous. Mars is often associated with desire and aggression. Aries are passionate lovers, decisive leaders, and always on the go. Their fiery (and very hard to contain) temperament rules their personality. They don’t like to be controlled. Independence is running through their veins. 

Peter Paul Rubens, Consequences of War, 1637–1638, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy.

Peter Paul Rubens, Consequences of War, 1637–1638, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy.

Taurus, April 20–May 20

Clouds, dolphins, and Venus! The Birth of Venus by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905) is a 19th-century masterpiece. The goddess of love dominates the center of the composition, her sensual curves attracting a lot of attention. She is standing on the scallop shell. Many mythological creatures, such as nymphs and centaurs, have gathered for her arrival. Cupid and Psyche are also attending the grand event. Jovial putti (chubby naked young boys, usually winged) are playing and singing in the background. In art and in Roman mythology, Venus is the embodiment of beauty and elegance. Her posture is relaxed; she seems to be without a care in the world. All eyes are on Venus and her long, delicate curls! 

Taureans love to be spoiled. Governed by Venus, they know how to take care of themselves and feel most comfortable in luxuriant environments. This zodiac sign is determined and reliable. Although they might be stubborn sometimes, these bulls are perseverant and loyal to their friends. Because their element is Earth, they crave stability and like to take things slowly. In general, Taureans know how to enjoy every moment of their day.

William Bouguereau, The Birth of Venus (La Naissance de Vénus), 1879, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, The Birth of Venus (La Naissance de Vénus), 1879, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France.

Gemini, May 21–June 20

Absorbed by his work, the scientist conducts his experiment carefully. A white cockatoo entrapped in a glass container is struggling in its last moments. Air is pumped out from the vessel. What is the intention of the lecturer, to kill the bird? The crowd gathered by the dim candlelight, the only light source in the room, witnesses the captivating scene: a girl comforted by her father is unable to watch; two lovers can’t get enough of each other; a young child looks with fear in her eyes. The painting reminds the viewer of the importance of scientific advances. During the 1760s, Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797) painted a series of candlelit scenes with similar academic subjects. Among them, An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump is the most impressive one. 

Gemini is an intellectual air sign. The mind of a Gemini is always busy, chewing over some exciting ideas. Quick-witted and sociable, they love to dive deep into their curiosities. One of their shortcomings is impatience. However, Geminis can adapt to every situation and express themselves fluently, making great tutors and life-long learners!

Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump, 1768, The National Gallery, London, UK.

Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump, 1768, The National Gallery, London, UK.

Cancer, June 21–July 22 

Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) captured boredom in its essence. A little girl, seemingly disinterested, looks at the floor. On the left, an adorable puppy sleeps. The only pieces of furniture in the room are the enormous, playful armchairs.  The child in Little Girl in a Blue Armchair is the daughter of a friend of Edgar Degas (1834–1917). Degas had a substantial influence on Cassatt’s work as a painter. He asked her to join the Impressionists in 1877 after the Salon rejected her submissions. Cassatt exhibited this painting in the fourth Impressionist Exhibition in 1879.

Being very intuitive, as a water sign, Cancers are ruled by their emotions. They might seem cold at distant at first, but that’s far from the truth. Cancers can easily pick up on the energy in the room, being very empathetic. Just give them a chance to show their true colors. 

Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA. 

Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

Leo, July 23–August 22

The French artist Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) painted between 1801 and 1805 a series of five equestrian portraits depicting Napoleon Bonaparte crossing the Alps at the Great St Bernard Pass. Charles IV, the King of Spain, commissioned this artwork. Napoleon refused to sit for the portrait but instructed David to paint him riding a horse. However, in reality, Napoleon did not lead his troops through the Alps; he traveled behind them on the back of a mule, and certainly not on an Arabian stallion! In this painting, Napoleon is a figure of authority and power. His victorious posture imposes respect. The glorified hero is wearing a golden cloak, a reminder of his status as the general in command. Dark clouds are gathering in the distance as his soldiers march behind him. Being born on August 15, 1769, Napoleon was also a Leo. 

Confident, generous, and sometimes jealous, the fiery Leos know what it takes to be the center of attention. They are brave leaders and the star of every show. No challenge is too big for them. Leos hate to depend on others and are very resilient. Even though they care a lot about their image, they don’t mind a little bit of drama in their life.

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800, Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France.

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800, Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France.

Virgo, August 23-September 22

A young woman is drawing in a gallery of the Louvre—she is staring directly at the viewer. The gentle light emphasizes her angelic features. A sense of delicate femininity, devoid of any sexuality, prevails in the silent scene. The artist managed to render the trompe-l’oeil (deceives the eye) effect of the broken window. Portrait of Charlotte du Val d’Ognes is a Neoclassical painting. Somewhat unsettling, right? Although unsigned, the masterpiece has been attributed to the talented Marie-Denise Villers (1774–1821). Art historians don’t know much about Villers, only that she was a pupil of Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (1767–1824).

Virgos are extraordinarily studious and meticulous. They enjoy mentally challenging tasks, usually approaching life with an open mind. Ruled by the messenger planet of Mercury, Virgos like to process the information they receive from the outside world and provide input. Those under this zodiac sign have the je ne sais quoi that everyone admires about them. 

Marie-Denis Villers, Portrait of Charlotte du Val d'Ognes, 1801, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA. 

Marie-Denise Villers, Portrait of Charlotte du Val d’Ognes, 1801, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA. 

Libra, September 23–October 22

Two lovers are dancing, their embrace revealing a genuine intimacy between them. The young woman is wearing a fashionable evening dress. Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)  used delicate brushstrokes to render the texture and shimmer of her iridescent skirt. The lively hues of green animate the painting. The man is holding her carefully by the waist. Although she is hiding her face in her lover’s shoulder, the girl is blushing. Maybe her partner whispered something in her ear? Dance in the City is part of a series of three paintings which includes Dance in the Country and Dance at Bougival. Renoir was an Impressionist painter known for his artworks of people dancing in different environments.

As the social butterflies of the zodiac, Libras enjoy the company of others. They have an acute aesthetic sense, always finding harmony in symmetry and balance. Because Libras love to be surrounded by beauty, they make incredible designers and stylists.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance in the City, 1882-1883, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance in the City, 1882-1883, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. 

Scorpio, October 23–November 21

Caravaggio (1571–1610) was an Italian Baroque painter. This painting was sent in 1610 to Cardinal Borghese at the papal court, who could pardon the artist for murder. Although the Cardinal granted the pardon, Caravaggio died before it reached him. There seems to exist a strong personal bond between David and Goliath. The boy doesn’t resemble a cruel executioner: his expression is merciful and compassionate. He adopts the powerful pose of the justiciary, balancing his sword in one hand and Goliath’s head in the other. The earthly tones counterbalance David’s youthful appearance. The artist decided to paint himself for Goliath’s severed head. If the painting was meant for the Cardinal as a plea of mercy, Caravaggio managed to transpose his personal experience into a universally acceptable statement on the gruesome disparity between life and death. 

Scorpios are secretive, cunning, and very misunderstood. As a water sign, they take most decisions with their hearts. By nature, Scorpios are enigmatic and seductive. Generally, this zodiac sign is associated with sensuality and intimacy, be it physical or emotional. You may never know what card Scorpio is hiding up its sleeve.

Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1610, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy.

Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1610, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy.

Sagittarius, November 22–December 21

Georges Seurat (1859–1891) was the founder of the Neo-Impressionist art style. The Circus is a pointillist painting characterized by a very harmonious balance. Seurat blended scientific analysis and creativity into one artistic creation defined by ascending lines, flowing curves, and pronounced contrasts. The audience is mesmerized by the dynamic show. In the lower half of the canvas, entertainers perform their acts. Seurat chose a limited color palette, using only the three primary colors. Maybe the most peculiar character, the whiteface clown in the foreground, laughs joyfully. What a splendid view! 

Sagittarius is a mutable sign, meaning they are flexible. Gifted with an intelligent sense of humor, they make great storytellers and hilarious entertainers. Optimistic, adventurous, and sincere, Sagittarians tend to be action-oriented, leading the way for others. They can suffer from chronic boredom.

Georges Seurat, The Circus (Le Cirque), Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.

Georges Seurat, The Circus (Le Cirque), Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France.

Capricorn, December 22–January 19

Four people in a downtown diner late at night do not seem to interact with each other. The outside street is deserted. You can almost hear the silence, right? Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was an American Realist painter. His clean, distinguishable style and cold hues enhance the eerie atmosphere of the scene. Both Hopper and his wife served as models for the artwork. The diner was inspired by a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue in New York City. At that time, in the early 1940s, fluorescent lights just started being used for illumination in all-night diners. Some art critics argue that Nighthawks immortalizes the loneliness most people face in the modern world. 

Capricorns can seem cold, unemotional, and detached from the outside world. Nevertheless, they are incredibly ambitious and diligent. Professionals all the time, Capricorns’s nature is very competitive, so they prefer to work alone. They operate from a place of ruthless pragmatism, adopting a very mature attitude in their interactions. This zodiac sign knows how to take initiative. If they have a goal in mind, nothing can stop them.

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Aquarius, January 20–February 18

In Liberty Leading the People, Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) portrayed Liberty as an allegorical goddess figure. She’s holding the French flag, stepping over the mounted corpses of fallen victims of the 1839 July Revolution, which paved the way for the June Rebellion of 1832. However, on the other hand, she is holding a bayonetted musket. Liberty is looking behind her, making sure the people are following her lead. The revolutionaries come from different social classes: the bourgeoisie, urban workers, and even young students from the École Polytechnique. Delacroix wrote in a letter to his brother: 

I have undertaken a modern subject, a barricade, and although I may not have fought for my country, at least I shall have painted for her. It has restored my good spirits.

Being ruled by the planet of innovation, Uranus, Aquarians are true revolutionaries. They are unapologetic about their nonconformist personality. Progressive to the core, Aquarians think on a global scale, and like Liberty, they wish to change the world for the better through their radical ideas.

Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People (La Liberté guidant le peuple), 1830, Louvre Palace, Paris, France.

Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People (La Liberté guidant le peuple), 1830, Louvre Palace, Paris, France.

Pisces, February 19–March 20

A beautiful girl is sleeping peacefully. Judging from her sweet smile, she must be dreaming something pleasant. Her flushed cheeks speak of her youth. Clearly, the artist intended to portray her in a lot of detail, accurately rendering the intricate texture of her sleeves and handkerchief. He used an exotic green for her dress and auburn for the tablecloth. The girl’s whereabouts are unknown to the viewer. In fact, many things about this painting remain a mystery to this day. Sleeping Girl, a genre picture dated to ca. 1630, was painted by an unknown artist closely related in style to Claude Vignon (1593–1670), dated to ca. 1630. Some historians attribute it to the Flemish Baroque painter Theodoor van Loon (1581–1649). 

Pisces are famous for their boundless creativity. Lost in the realm of dreams, they have a hard time keeping their feet on the ground. Pisces is the most kindhearted and emotional sign of the zodiac. Their intuition guides them every day, helping them to make decisions. The depths of this zodiac sign remain an unsolvable puzzle to many. Honestly, it’s hard not to fall in love with Pisceans and their adorable smiles!

Sleeping Girl, 1620-1622, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.

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