Zodiac Signs as Art: Which Famous Painting From History Are You?

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Scroll To See More Images There’s no feeling quite like exploring a beautiful art museum. Between the lingering smell of dried paint hanging in the air and the subtle hum of people discussing each work, it always leaves me feeling inspired. Because every painting has its own backstory, meaning and […]

Scroll To See More Images

There’s no feeling quite like exploring a beautiful art museum. Between the lingering smell of dried paint hanging in the air and the subtle hum of people discussing each work, it always leaves me feeling inspired. Because every painting has its own backstory, meaning and stylistic flair, it’s enough to make you wonder about the work of art that captures each zodiac sign.

Although a painting may be two dimensional, there are always an infinite number of layers at work. A masterpiece is always a convergence of the artist’s life story, the tools they choose to use, the historical period during which it was created and the philosophical intentions plunging through the canvas. By the time the artist signs their name in the bottom corner, every element comes together to form something irreplaceable and inimitable. Many will try to create something that comes close and many will fail, because a true masterpiece comes from something beyond our human scope; as if the divine dropped it into our imaginations directly.

Because every famous painting is always alive with meaning and vibrating with magic, it makes sense that every zodiac sign would have a painting that captures their energy perfectly. Here’s the painting that matches yours:

Zodiac Signs as Famous Paintings From Art History

Margaret Keane.

The First Grail, Margaret Keane (1962)

Aries has a reputation for being the fierce and competitive warrior of the zodiac, but this fire sign is so much more than that. Aries season launches the beginning of the astrological calendar, which means this zodiac sign carries the sadness, vulnerability and innocence of being the baby of the zodiac. That’s why Margaret Keane’s famous “Big Eyes” paintings capture the heart of what it means to be an Aries, because at the end of the day, Aries lives life as though it’s experiencing everything for the first time. Plus, the meaning of Aries is heavily intertwined with the right to one’s identity, and the fact that Margaret Keane’s husband forced her to release her paintings under his name amounts to a nightmare that would be uniquely terrifying for an Aries. The victory of proving that she was the real artist behind these paintings in a court of law is the most Aries type of triumph.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

Grande Odalisque, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1814)

Taurus is the most sensual and beauty-oriented zodiac sign of all. Ruled by Venus—planet of love and luxury—Taurus is unapologetic in its desire to live a grand and expensive life that’s full of leisure. No painting captures Taurus at the height of expression better than Grande Odalisque, as the milky skin of a proudly nude woman and her fashionable peacock feather duster feels smooth enough to touch. After all, Taurus rules over the five senses. Plus, the woman in the painting isn’t in the least bit worried about appearing “extra”, as the simple look over her shoulder proves that she knows we wish we were her.

Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas

Frida Kahlo.

The Two Fridas, Frida Kahlo (1939)

In astrology, Gemini is symbolically tied to the twins. This air sign is marked by its dual-sided nature, making it easier for them to see both sides of the story and to step into two different personalities. In this famous painting by Frida Kahlo, she is also illustrating the two sides of her persona. One wears a broken heart and a traditional Tehuana costume while the other has a heart that’s fully intact and a dress that is more modern by comparison. This painting illustrates the two different roles many women are forced to play and this dichotomy speaks to the Gemini experience in an incredibly profound way.

Luncheon of the Boating Party, Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Luncheon of the Boating Party, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1881)

Cancer is the first water sign in the zodiac, and because water is the element of love, emotional connection and family, Luncheon of the Boating Party is like a gateway to paradise for this zodiac sign. Not only does this party literally take place on a river, but you get the sense that everyone present in the painting knows each other really well and loves each other. That’s because they do! The woman cooing at the little terrier is Aline Charigot, who will eventually become the painter’s wife. This iconic impressionist painting by Renoir captures what it means to be both an artist and a Cancer, as nothing inspires this zodiac sign more than their own family and friends.

The Swing, Fragonard

Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

The Swing, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1768)

All Leo wants to do is have fun and be adored! No painting captures that energy better than The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. It presents a woman wearing a chic 18th century dress that would be good enough to wear to Versailles. Not only that, but she’s having the time of her life playing around on a swing! Leo rules over the inner child, which means this zodiac sign is never too cool to act like a kid. To make this painting even more Leo, you see two men in two dark corners worshipping the woman as though she’s a goddess. Even the angel statues are staring up at her in astonishment!

Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

Virgo is known for being the zodiac sign of cleanliness and purity. Organization, definition and clarity are the most important things to this highly analytical zodiac sign. The Girl with a Pearl Earring is marked by its vivid colors, striking contrast and of course, the mesmerizing look in the subjects eyes. This painting is beautiful in its simplicity, as there’s no need to complicate things when the subject is fascinating enough to stand on its own. There’s a certain innocent and unassuming quality in her appearance, which captures the humble modesty of Virgo inherent beauty. You don’t need pomp and frills to make a Virgo stand out.

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt.

Gustav Klimt.

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt (1908)

No one loves love more than a Libra. This harmonious and relationship-oriented zodiac sign is ruled by Venus, shining a light on Libra’s desire to care for someone and be cared for in return. Pretty much every painting by Gustav Klimt radiates Libra energy, but none capture it quite like The Kiss. Showcasing a gilded image of two lovers embracing with a level of love and depth that borders on worship, it represents what every Libra wants, which is to be completely and utterly desired.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci.

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci

No painting has more staying power than the Mona Lisa, which speaks to Scorpio’s relentless desire to commit. But besides the fact that the Mona Lisa remains the most recognizable painting in history, it’s also shrouded in mystery. Not only do we not know who the Mona Lisa actually is, but we’ve spent centuries debating whether she’s smirking or frowning. Scorpios are famous for their enigmatic quality, which makes the Mona Lisa‘s undefinable facial expression right in line with this water sign. Plus, Scorpio is associated with secrets and underground crimes, which could only explain the amount of times this painting has been stolen from museums. At one point, people didn’t know where the Mona Lisa was for two whole years!

The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí.

The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí

Sagittarius is the most philosophical and open-minded zodiac sign of all. This mutable fire sign is always aiming to look at the big picture, no matter how terrifying or confusing it might be. That’s why Salvador Dalí’s famous painting The Persistence of Memory speaks to the endless questions every Sagittarius has about the meaning of life and what’s actually possible. In this painting, Dalí is trying to decipher whether or not time truly exists. This painting is full of Freudian inferences and vivid objects to analyze, such as the array of ants sitting in the bottom left corner and the three separate clocks that represent the past, present and future. Only a Sagittarius could contemplate this without getting lost in the details.

The Scream, Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch.

The Scream, Edvard Munch (1893)

Capricorns are often perceived as workaholics and overachievers, but this cardinal earth sign is so much more than that. After all, there’s a reason Capricorns work so hard, and it’s not necessarily a happy one. Capricorns put so much pressure on themselves because they often lacked stability growing up and feel as though they can only rely on themselves to get things done. That’s why Edvard Munch’s famously morose painting The Scream carries such a Capricorn quality, because it captures the inherent suffering and loneliness of the human condition that every Capricorn knows and understands. Plus, Edvard Munch was literally a Capricorn and he literally said that this is a painting of his soul.

The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte.

The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte (1929)

Every Aquarius is concerned about humanity. And one thing every Aquarius understands is the power of marketing and media. In this iconic and surreal painting by Rene Magritte, an illustration of a cigar is displayed over the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” which means “This is not a pipe.” Confused? Don’t be, because it’s *not* a pipe. Can you reach into the painting and grab onto it? No. Can you put tobacco in it and smoke it? No. This painting is essentially a reminder that images can be “treacherous” and to check yourself before immediately “buying” into it. And what Aquarius doesn’t love being a little ironic?

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh.

The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

When you look at The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, it’s enough to make you cry. I’m tearing up right now just writing about it and that’s enough to make this painting a Pisces. Plus, Vincent Van Gogh himself was the most “Pisces” Pisces who ever lived. He once said that “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day” which is the most Pisces thing to say, as this is the last sign in the zodiac and represents the darkness of the evening just before dawn. The only person to ever purchase any of his incredibly underrated paintings was his brother and he took his own life before he could achieve recognition for his work. To achieve posthumous fame at this level is the most Pisces thing, as this zodiac sign is more connected to the spirit world than the material world. Even as a ghost, Van Gogh remains the King of Art in my eyes.

Zodiac Signs Travel | Culture Issue 2022

Image: Unsplash, Adobe. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster

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