A Tale of Two VirgoesIngresImage

The drawing reproduced here is by the French artists, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, who was born with the Sun and Mercury in Virgo. The drawing, a portrait of a woman and her daughter, expresses the qualities of Virgo in a couple of ways. (Click here to see a horoscope for Ingres charted for noon.)

First of all it is small, unpretentious and meticulously detailed. We think of Virgo people as being good with details, but what really sets Virgo apart is their ability to see the details that count. In the drawing, Ingres places great emphasis on the face and particularly on the eyes of the woman. Her clothing and even the child, though impeccably drawn, are secondary in terms of the rendering of details.

The second thing that makes this drawing a Virgo piece of art is its practicality. Ingres did a lot of drawings like this to earn money when he was young. They were relatively easy to produce, they didn’t require the laborious preparation and repeated sitting that a painting would, and they were profitable.

Virgo is an Earth sign and Virgo people are typically well attuned to the material concerns of life. I have no doubt that Ingres took pride in the aesthetic quality of his small pencil drawings, but I’m also sure that he appreciated the fact that they were a good way to make a quick franc or two.

Ingres’ drawings provide us one way of looking at Virgo. They show us a side of Virgo that is quiet, detail conscious and well-mannered. But, like all the signs of the zodiac, Virgo also has a rowdy side, and that aspect of the Virgo personality is well displayed in the artwork of R. Crumb.

Crumb has the Sun, Venus and probably the Moon in Virgo. (Click here to see a horoscope for Robert Crumb charted for noon.) Like Ingres, Crumb has a unique ability to focus on the most salient details. Unlike Ingres, the details that Crumb picks out are those that show us the absurdities and banalities of modern life.

Crumb is best known for his underground comic book work from the 1960s. He created a long list of characters and stories based on his own experiences and his (mostly sexual) fantasies. Crumb’s work is not for the faint of heart. It is crude, shamelessly confessional, often misogynistic and always politically incorrect. (Click here to see a gallery of Crumb’s work.)

Virgo is a sign known for telling the truth, or at least the truth as Virgo see it. It may not be the higher truth that you get from Sagittarius or Aquarius, but it will be the truth as it pertains to the physical world. Virgo doesn’t care that most of us would rather not hear this truth, or that many of us are a little embarrassed by it. For Virgo, the fact that it is true is a good enough reason for telling it.

So here we have two images of Virgo. One is delightfully precise and yet demure. The other is cynical and a least a little offensive. At first glance, these qualities might not seem similar, but if you hang around a Virgo person long enough my guess is that you will see both.

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