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Michelangelo and the Faith of Pisces

It’s surprisingly hard to find an artist who is a good representative for Pisces. You see some of Pisces’ happy, go-with-the-flow attitude in the paintings of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and the Pisces penchant for fantasy and disregarding normal boundaries is evident in the work of Balthus and Hans Bellmer. But the most compelling Pisces artist I know only showed the influence of his Sun sign late in his career. That was Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, his David, is not a particular Piscean work. Inspired by classic Greek sculptures, it speaks more of the intellectual search for excellence of his Aquarian Mercury. Likewise, the fierce Moses he carved for the tomb of Pope Julius II seems to have more to do with his Venus in Aries. We see glimpse of passivity and surrender of Pisces in such works as his Pieta and The Dying Slave, but it is only when we get to the last 30 years of his life that we truly see all of Pisces in Michelangelo’s art. (Click here to see Michelangelo’s horoscope.)

Michelangelo lived long enough to see the culture in which he lived go through radical changes and, like any good Pisces, he adapted to those changes. Early in his career it was the intellectualism and free-thinking of the Renaissance that inspired the artist. He joined in the revolution by modeling his work after the pagan images of the Greeks and Romans and celebrating the human body in ways would not have been unacceptable previous Christian art.

Late in his life, this spirit of intellectual exploration was replaced by a new emphasis on faith brought about by the Counter-Reformation. Michelangelo’s artwork changed accordingly. One of the most dramatic displays of this was his Last Judgment, in which Christ, as broad-shouldered and buff and any Greek god, raises the righteous up to heaven and casts the wicked into a hell filled with Piscean fantasy and horror. It is the work of man reaffirming his faith in the religion into which he was born.

Around the same time, Michelangelo began working on a group of sculptures like the one pictured above. They were apparently not commissioned works and they remained in the artist’s studio for the rest of his life, all in this unfinished state. These are Michelangelo’s most Piscean works. They are filled with ambiguity. A well-defined and polished arm and torso merges with a head and lower body that is barely roughed in. So much about them is unrealized, unsaid, but that only adds to the emotional impact of these sculptures.

Pisces people know that what’s hinted at can often carry more weight than that which is clearly announced. Pisceans navigate these kinds of exchanges, communication on an emotional level, much better than most of us. They are as alert to changes in the feelings of others as they are to their own emotional states, and they know that it’s how you feel, not what you say, that really matters.

These last sculptures of Michelangelo’s are h
is final statement to  the world. In his old age, the master rediscovered his faith. He also discovered that emotions can be expressed in abstract forms just as easily as a well-articulated figure. And, most of all, he found his Pisces.

This concludes my series on art and astrology. If anyone has any comments on the artists I’ve chosen or some nominees of their own, feel free to comment.