Artists often look to the stars for creative inspiration, and many of the world's most famous paintings are informed by their makers' beliefs, the zodiac included. Cultures have sought guidance from celestial bodies for millennia. As astrology developed, Babylonians were the ones to divide the zodiac into 12 signs, and practitioners continue to follow this basic structure.
When it comes to paintings, what makes a piece of art classic comes down to many factors, such as style, colors, historical contexts, and moods. Sometimes, it's impossible to articulate exactly what makes a painting speak to so many or what makes people flock to art galleries all over the world to catch a glimpse of a preserved masterpiece. Fortunately, astrology is here to help. What do the stars have to say about the classic paintings below? Not only that they're all spectacular, but that they reflect the varied qualities present within each zodiac sign.
Represented by the ram, the Fixed Fire sign Aries is full of energy, passion, and a wild thirst for exploration. The burning excitement that thrives under the surface for every Aries is visualized perfectly by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's 1893 expressionistic painting The Scream. Munch combined oil paints, pastels, and crayons to give his work its unique and edgy color scheme.
Aries will relate to the combative emotions erupting from this piece. While an orange and red sunset blazes in the background, a figure in the foreground shrieks on a pier, clutching his face between his hands. Munch makes an aggressive statement about the angsty nature of the human condition.
Decadent and sensual, Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli's famous painting depicts the Roman goddess of love's origin story. Botticelli painted this piece in the mid-1480s, and he adheres to the artistic traditions of his time by showcasing stories from classical mythology. The Birth of Venus portrays the title goddess materializing from the sea as a beautiful woman after her birth.
The Fixed Earth sign Taurus is known for its grounded and physical manner, and those born under this sign will revel in Botticelli's sultry interpretation of the natural world. Solid and dependable Taurus, represented by the bull, possesses a deep romantic streak. The graceful poses of the painting's figures, its gossamer-like sea, and Venus's long, flowing blonde locks typify the indulgent Taurean ethos.
Dual-natured Mutable Air sign Gemini is symbolized by the twins. This intellectual and curious sign is always in search of new experiences or perspectives. Pablo Picasso, a radical modern artist at the forefront of many avant-garde artistic movements, reimagined figurative painting by abstracting human forms. His 1908 painting of two friends represents more than this experimental approach; it also represents the Gemini spirit.
While considered flexible and social, Geminis contain a more emotional side, one this cerebral type struggles to understand. Often, Geminis keep themselves busy in order to avoid confronting their elusive, shadow personality. This sign should take a cue from Picasso and unite their divided traits.
The elegant gaze of the unknown girl in Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer's circa 1665 painting is fixed directly at the viewer. Her facial expression is fueled by unspoken sentiments, hinting at a well of profound feelings within her. In astrology, no one understands what it means to shelter emotions quite like a Cancer.
Cardinal Water signs ruled by the Moon, Cancers are extremely sensitive and guarded. It's no wonder their symbol is the crab, a shelled creature that scurries away at the first indication of harm. Cancers are also associated with the color yellow, which Vermeer employs in the girl's hanging head wrap and reflective dress, made more resplendent when contrasted against the painting's dark and solid background.