Art, Beauty, Culture & The Transit Of Neptune In Taurus…

Discover more about collective influences, how we're moved by Neptune in this Venus-ruled sign!

Share the trends of the era and this astrology analysis – the signature style of Neptune in Taurus…

1874–1888

☆ Aestheticism ☆ Impressionism ☆ Nature, Earth & Pastoral Landscapes ☆ Musical Talent ☆ Lounging ☆

Planet Neptune really tunes into the fashion style of the moment, as it’s all about the glamour, the art, the style of the time.

Neptune in Taurus – A Venus Ruled Sign…

With Neptune in a Venus-ruled sign, Taurus, the areas governed by Venus can be glamorised, idealised, or dissolved and diluted… What’s more, the tone of Venus itself will resonate…

Venus oversees beauty, the arts, relationships, fashion and social relations, and also how we develop security, build property, cultivate belongings and wealth.

Therefore, artistic trends and movements, consumerism and how we plough and develop land and agriculture will be of particular interest when looking back at this time.

In this article, lets explore the figures, artistic and trends (such as Oscar Wilde and Aestheticism Renoir, Van Gogh and impressionism), entertainment and media (including Gilbert & Sullivan, Sarah Bernhardt and Ma Rainey), and what was popular and capturing the imaginations of the people, including the birth of Liberty department store…

The Cult Of Beauty, Art for Art’s Sake…

Albert Joseph Moore, Dreamers, 1882…

In response to the Industrial Revolution, the Aesthetic Movement was a counterculture of artists and writers who aimed to escape the ugliness and materialism of manufacturing, and led to the popularity of decorative art.

They saw the Industrial Age as dehumanising, and objected to mass production and the loss of individual craftsmanship.

Great innovation around the use of art and design for functional objects flourished!

This led to Art Nouveau and the Craft Movement – first came beauty, then came a return back to skill…

William John Hennessy, The Flowers of May, 1885…

There was a focus on producing art that was simply beautiful, rather than having a deeper meaning – ‘Art for Art’s sake’.

Artists and designers in this ‘cult of beauty’, [The Aestheticism Movement] crafted some of the most sophisticated and sensuous artworks of Western tradition…

The Aesthetics viewed corsets and the rigidity of the day as unattractive and artificial. Fashion designers sought more natural styles, and cast off stiffly tailored garments to embrace softer, more comfortable clothing.

At first a radical movement, eventually the ideals of the Aesthetics became mainstream, and gained momentum in popular culture by the 1880s. It was a fashion revolution!

Iconic Neptune In Taurus: Department Store, Liberty’s of London…

Arthur Lasenby Liberty was born in 1843, and worked for Farmer and Roger’s Shawl Emporium on Regent Street in London.

He then went on to open his own store, on May 15th, 1875.

He introduced imported fabrics and objects from Japan and the East, and drew the patronage of the art crowd, including Oscar Wilde, George Frederick Watts, James Whistler, and Frederick Leighton.

May 1888 – advertising silks, cashmeres, and chintzes …

But more than that, Liberty produced fabrics suited to the English climate inspired by oriental and medieval designs. There was a huge demand for carpets and furniture!

The store became the most fashionable place to shop in London and remains a shopping destination to this day.

Neptune In Taurus Icon: Oscar Wilde…

I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.

Oscar Wilde, 1883…

We know that Wilde lectured on the English Renaissance in Art during his US and Canada tour.

On April 29th, 1882 (in Rock Island, Illinois), the Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Venus and Pluto were all in Taurus, while the Moon was in Libra.

Nature’s Bounty & Beauty…

A time before photography was common, art was used both in a decorative fashion and as a recording of likeness, so it really was indispensable.

Several art styles were popular during the transit of Neptune in Taurus: Art Nouveau, Romanticism, Impressionism, Naturalism, Post-Impressionism and Symbolism.

A time that romanticised green pastures, let’s look at some of the artists working during this era…

Neptune In Taurus Icon: Renoir…

In the Meadow, Oil on canvas, 1888–92

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born 25 February 1841 at 06:00 am in Limoges, France, with Neptune Rising.

A great (Pisces) artist, his Aquarius Ascendant (14º48′), Neptune (15º20′) and the North Node (17º20′) are all tightly conjunct and pronounced in his chart.

Between 1888 and 1892 Renoir painted a number of works in which the same pair of girls—the blonde wearing a white frock and the brunette a pink one—engage in leisurely pastimes.

In the painting above they pick flowers; the same models appear at the piano – the countryside, nature, music and girlhood are all referenced beautifully.

These intimate scenes celebrate youthful innocence, and found a ready market in the early 1890s.

In contrast, some artists only became popular after their passing.

Neptune In Taurus Icon: Van Gogh…

(Aries) Vincent van Gogh was born on 30th March 1853, with Neptune, Mars and Venus in Pisces.

When Neptune in Taurus was sextile his Venus, it was regarded as the high note of his career.

Later in life his work developed, so that he created a new approach to still life and local landscapes.

His paintings grew brighter as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in the south of France in 1888, when he broadened his subject matter to include a series of olive trees, wheat fields, and sunflowers.

Neptune In Taurus Icon: Lawrence Alma-Tadema…

The Roses of Heliogabalus, 1888…

(Capricorn) Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a Dutch painter who settled in the UK (in 1870), who became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire.

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His success co-incided with his move to England, where he married his second wife and became one of the most famous and highly paid artists of his time.

By 1871 he had met and befriended most of the major Pre-Raphaelite painters and it was in part due to their influence that the artist brightened his palette, varied his hues, and lightened his brushwork.

Note that The Roses of Heliogabalus was painted during the winter, so Tadema arranged to have roses sent weekly from the French Riviera for four months to ensure the accuracy of each petal!

Lavish!

Iconic Neptune In Taurus: Gilbert And Sullivan…

Programme for Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, 1881…

Gilbert and Sullivan were a theatrical partnership – dramatist (and Scorpio) W. S. Gilbert and composer (Taurus) Arthur Sullivan.

Jointly they created fourteen comic operas from 1871, including Patience (1881), which satirised the aesthetic movement and its colourful poets in particular.

Neptune In Taurus Icon: Sarah Bernhardt…

Sarah Bernhardt by Georges Clairin Henderson, 1876…

Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress and courtesan, and the greatest actress of her day!

Neptune In Taurus Icon: Gertrude Pridgett “Ma” Rainey…

It’s possible iconic singer Ma Rainey – Mother of the Blues – was born April 26, 1886, but a second birth date is possible, with some sources indicating she was born in 1882.

What Was Being Read?

Here’s a little magazine type offering I picked up on eBay, published by the Chicago Engraving Company.

This ‘Picture Gallery for Young Folks’ has floral garlands and a pastoral scene, and it’s pink!

Dated April 1881, on the 19th, the Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Venus Rx, and Pluto would’ve appeared in Taurus as this was in print…

Here is an image from that same month…

Print, France, April 1881…

I love that we can see some of the fashion and furnishings of the day in this image (see the chairs and plant pot on the terrace)

Two of the children bring gifts of flowers (a bouquet and plant).

We see a woody glade in the background, and really lots of house plants, too!

Neptune’s passage through Taurus gave a great reverence to nature, flowers and foliage, and the natural world (not only in art but in a religious context, too)…

Fashion Trends Of The Time…

Les Modes Parisiennes Petersons Magazine, Dated May 1888…

It’s fascinating to pick up on the little details!

In the image above note the image is depicted ‘at the Zoological garden’.

When conducting research about this era, I gathered that going to the Zoo (to see nature’s splendour) must have been quite a pastime!

One such story centres around Jumbo the elephant.

While it may seem silly, Jumbomania took over the hearts and minds of people all over the world who were interested in the sale of Jumbo, to showman, businessman and politician Phineas Taylor Barnum, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Souvenirs such as Jumbo neckties, fans, and hats were sold in England and America while his picture was printed on thousands of advertisements (for soap, thread, baking powder and more!) Potholders, cigars, and a large sewing machine were all named after Jumbo.

Thousands of letters were sent to London Zoo officials by people who wanted Jumbo to live in peace in England, and a fund was set up to keep him at London Zoo. A bride sent Jumbo a piece of her wedding cake!

News, April 1st, 1882 – Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Pluto in Taurus…

Thousands of children wrote to Barnum begging him to leave Jumbo in his London home but he refused.

Born With Neptune In Taurus…

There are two ways we can observe Neptune in Taurus.

One is through the influence this transit had on people, and the art, music and fashions that became popular during this time frame.

The other is to examine those with the transit or planet prominent – and indeed the zodiac sign.

Gabrielle Ray…

Born April 28th, 1883, Ray was considered one of the most beautiful actresses on the London stage and became one of the most photographed women in the world.

She was born with Sun, Neptune, Mercury, Chiron, Saturn, Pluto and Ceres all in Taurus (Venus & Mars in Aries), with the South Node, and Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio conjunct the North Node.

Sadly, she spent her last 37 years in a mental hospital…

Natalia Goncharova… 

Natalia Goncharova (born July 3rd 1881 to October 17th 1962), was a Cancer with a stellium in Taurus: Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Venus and Pluto.

A Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer, she is a unique example of person born with such a strong chart signature.

Notably, she was a member of the German-based art movement Der Blaue Reiter,.

Rolf de Maré…

Rolf de Maré, Art Collector, Ballet Director, Museum Creator…

Rolf de Mare (born 9 May 1888 – 28 April 1964) was a Swedish art collector and leader of the Ballets Suédois in Paris in 1920–25.

A fascinating man, he was born just before a New Moon in Taurus, with the Sun, Moon, Venus, Black Moon Lilith, Mercury, Ceres and Neptune in Taurus – Neptune at the 29th degree of Taurus…

+ Carl Jung, Stalin, Roosevelt, Mussolini, Ramanujan, George Patton and Helen Keller.

Neptune In Taurus Dates

  • 8 June 1874 – 26 May 1888
  • 27 Dec 1888 – 21 Mar 1889.
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