This idea of the alienated artist, the Wittkowers demonstrate, comes into its own in the Renaissance, as part of the new bid by visual artists to distinguish themselves from craftsmen, with whom they were then lumped together. Where the skilled artisan had worked under the sign of light-fingered Mercury, the ambitious artist identified himself with the mysterious and brooding Saturn. Alienation, in effect, was a rung by which artists sought to climb the social ladder.
So Born Under Saturn is a reprint of Sixties “art classic” and super academic, I am guessing BUT how interesting that SATURN was identified with the troubled artiste archetype.
In ancient eras, people took their patron planet seriously, altars and all, so to identify with Saturn was a big-deal.
These days, artists are seen as more Neptunian with an avant-garde zap from Uranus in some cases. Saturn is connected more as the God of athletes (4am rises to do laps of the pool, rigid diets, performance metrics + in most cases a professional dimension of their career that has to be managed) and of course the professions.
Neptune was not discovered till 1846 and this book goes up to the French Revolution, the late 1700s.
So really, Saturn was IT.
Here, for perspective, are the key astrological signatures of some modern-era artists of renown:
- Tracey Emin – Saturn in Aquarius square Neptune in Scorpio.
- Damian Hirst – Saturn in Pisces trine Neptune in Scorpio and opposite Mars-Pluto-Uranus.
- Jeff Koons – he is just super Uranian – Saturn in Scorpio trine Jupiter/Uranus in Cancer and Neptune in Libra squaring it.
- Andy Warhol – Saturn in Saggo trine Leo Ascendant trine Moon in Aries – that’s a Grand Fire Trine, folks. He also had the win-win of Jupiter in Taurus on his Midheaven – enduring fame and artistic legacy. $$$ too.
- Marina Abramovic – Saturn/Pluto in Leo trine her Sagittarius Sun trine her Aries Midheaven – another Grand Fire Trine artist.
- Ed Ruscha – Saturn opposite Neptune in Virgo.
- Richard Prince – more of a Uranian – Neptune in Libra square Mars/Uranus in Cancer.
- Sophie Calle – Saturn/Neptune in Libra square Uranus in Cancer.
- Louise Bourgeois – Neptune opposite Uranus/Lilith in Cancer.
My feeling is that the successful artists and the ones whose work resonates need a bit of Saturn and Neptune/Uranus.
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