Friday, March 21, 2014

Arty Farty Friday ~ Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema welcomes Spring

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: he wasn't born at Spring Equinox, but he did seem to enjoy painting in springtime mode. To welcome our 2014 spring, a few of his paintings, then a look at his natal chart.

Flora: Spring in the Gardens of the Villa Borghese

 Promise of Spring

 Return of the Flowers

 The Year's at the Spring. All's Right with the World


 Detail from Spring (above)

 Spring Flowers

Lawrence Alma-Tadema was born in the Netherlands on 8 January 1836, but spent much of his adult life in Britain, became a naturalised British subject in 1873. He was knighted in 1899.

A glance through images of dozens of his works at Google Image will indicate that his favourite subject was the female of the species. He painted women nude, barely covered or beautifully clothed in draperies and gowns of the distant past, most are languidly posed against classical backdrops of white marble, often making stark contrast with the blue Mediterranean behind. He was on the same artistic wavelength as the major Pre-Raphaelites. His style was influenced greatly by what he'd seen during a visit to Italy in 1863; there a fascination with Greek and Roman antiquity and Egyptian archaeology was awakened. He'd mix this fascination with a sense of escapism and romance. For some years his paintings captivated the 19th century public. Wealth and fame followed, but soon styles and tastes were to change. His work steadily lost favour. Later on his work found a new appreciation in the USA. Hollywood's visions of life in ancient Rome and Greece might have been inspired by some of his paintings.

There's some information on his personality at Wikipedia
For all the quiet charm and erudition of his paintings, Alma-Tadema himself preserved a youthful sense of mischief. He was childlike in his practical jokes and in his sudden bursts of bad temper, which could as suddenly subside into an engaging smile.

In his personal life, Alma-Tadema was an extrovert and had a remarkably warm personality. He had most of the characteristics of a child, coupled with the admirable traits of a consummate professional. A perfectionist, he remained in all respects a diligent, if somewhat obsessive and pedantic worker. He was an excellent businessman, and one of the wealthiest artists of the nineteenth century. Alma-Tadema was as firm in money matters as he was with the quality of his work.

As a man, Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a robust, fun loving and rather portly gentleman. There was not a hint of the delicate artist about him; he was a cheerful lover of wine, women and parties.

Alma-Tadema's wife Laura was a talented artist in her own right, as was their daughter Anna.
He died in June of 1912.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema's natal chart with reliable AA rated data from Astrodatabank.

Well now - I'd say he looked more like his Taurus ascendant than his Capricorn Sun or Virgo Moon. As mentioned above "robust... portly... not a hint of the delicate artist...." But Taurus is ruled by Venus planet of the arts.

His warm, extrovert, child-like mischief and practical jokes, as described in the quote above, don't easily fit with Capricorn or Virgo (his main signature signs), they do sound more akin to Leo but none of his planets reside there. His three planets in Aquarius, including its ruler, Uranus, along with Venus and Neptune the two creative planets, were seemingly folding some extra quirk into his innate Earthiness, the mix emerged as above.

"Sudden bursts of bad temper"...Sun conjunct Mars?

"A cheerful lover of wine, women and parties"... his Jupiter in Cancer?

Hang on though - here comes the true Capricorn in his nature: "He was an excellent businessman, and one of the wealthiest artists of the nineteenth century. Alma-Tadema was as firm in money matters as he was with the quality of his work." And Virgo: "A perfectionist, he remained in all respects a diligent, if somewhat obsessive and pedantic worker."

It almost felt as though whoever in Wikipedia wrote the paragraphs pertaining to his personality knew all about astrology!


mike said...

Astrodatabank may give the noon time of birth an AA rating, but I question any birth time that is "on the hour". I suspect his rising sign and-or degree is not correct.

You've had several posts regarding modern planetary rulerships of Uranus, Neptune, and of your posts (that I can't find...what happened to your "search" function?), in particular, discounted the assignment of these three planets to any sign and you suggested they should be viewed as generational or having special qualities not assignable to any particular sign.

With that in mind, giving Saturn rulership over Aquarius, all of Tadema's planets have final dispositors of Mars and Saturn in mutual reception. I'm hesitant to use the houses presented here in his natal chart as an indication of his qualities, but his planets. He does have a Mars and Pluto T-square to Jupiter (with Sun, Mercury, and Mars loosely conjunct) and Jupiter loosely trine Saturn. I think this would give him some of the attributes ("warm, extrovert, child-like mischief and practical jokes") described. Squares and oppositions of Jupiter typically produce benign, positive results, but perhaps overly expansive or over the top.

mike (again) said...

I wrote in the above comment:

"...regarding modern planetary rulerships of Uranus, Neptune, and Pisces"

Change "Pisces" to Pluto!

Twilight said...

mike ~ I thought the same about the time of birth being dodgy, but I think has it marked "BC in hand" (not sure, and can't easily check just now terrible internet connection- we're in Tx for weekend in honour of Anyjazz's birthday, 22nd).

Re search thingie - I don't know I think Blogger must have ditched it when they changed the interface.

Re outer planets - I usually think they'll be mainly generationaln=, unless closely linked by aspect/ conjunction to a personal planet.

Yes, there are lots of aspects which I didn't get into, for brevity mainly. As you pointed out that's a possibility as "source" of his extrovert, mischief etc.

He seems to have been quite a fun guy. If his birth time wasn't 12 noon, perhaps it might have been such as to bring Leo or Aries or Sagittarius into the mix.

mike (again) said...

Ted Cruz and Rick Perry invited you down for a weekend retreat, eh? Smile and laugh a lot...nod your head yes many times...let them do all the talking.

I just checked site indicates Alma-Tadema's time of birth as unknown and uses 12 noon to derive the same chart as I looked at and think they have this wrong, but there's no easy way to determine which is correct.

BTW - poking through your old posts, I came across a quinky-dink...look at this post:

Look at the map, "10 Vile Vortices Around the World". Look at the two vortices, one off Australia and the one above, off Malaysia. Wow...MH370!

Twilight said...

mike ~ Maybe has, surprisingly, an error on Alma-Tadema's page. They're usually very reliable, usually give their source, but in this case might have landed on the wrong page (or something).

Oooo-er! Yes, I remember that blog subject, hadn't recalled it in connection to MH370 though - quinky-dink indeed!