Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s short life is the stuff of legend today.
He was born into an aristocratic family in the south of France, and fought health problems all his life. However, he could draw and paint, and this became his life’s work.
He was not only a painter, but also a printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman and caricaturist. Much of his best known work encapsulates the heady and seedy theatrical world of late 19th century Paris.
Intense, variable energy
According to the known birth data, he was born with Scorpio rising, a testimony to the intense energy he put into his life, despite ongoing health and addiction problems.
His ruler, Mars, was found in Gemini in house 8. Here we see not only the variable and versatile energies but also the ‘darker’, more evocative, imagery of Paris that he was involved with and portrayed in a lot of his work.
The printed word in art
Mars is opposite Mercury and Jupiter in house 2, which, while adding a certain mental agitation, will also encourage the diversification of his talent.
And with his prominent Mercury and ruler in Gemini linked, it is fitting that the printed word is also equally prominent in his work.
Venus in Capricorn (part of a t-square, see below) also points to practical art forms and situated in house 3, we see another link to the mind, communication and words, particularly through illustration, posters and caricature.
Henri was a Sun Sagittarian with Jupiter conjunct in house 2, trine Neptune in house 6 and sextile the Moon in house 12. The strong mutable quality of his chart overall, including his Sun, shows restlessness and diverse talents, which can be put to good use. He and his family were also Anglophiles, and he spent some time in London. Sagittarius is rarely satisfied with sticking to his home patch.
This may also show his aristocratic background and upbringing, with all its ‘benefits’, but also a certain impressionability along with artistic ability.
Neptune, as I’ve come to realise, is often prominent in the charts of artists, connecting the individual with more trans-personal forces, drawing on inspiration.
There is a fairly tight T-square involving Venus, the Moon and Neptune in cardinal signs, in houses 3, 6 and 12.
Here we see an innate sensitivity in relationships and mentally, and although with Venus and the Moon in Libra hinting involved hinting at a resulting artistic talent, this may also be indicative of his reliance on alcohol, which became a serious health issue in chronic terms later in his life.
Henri’s MC or midheaven in Virgo and Leo 10th house point to his life’s work. The rulers of these parts, Mercury and the Sun, are found together in house 2 of money and security, beneficial Jupiter encouraging him to push this career.
The opposition from Mars in house 8, as mentioned earlier, certainly made it anything but plain sailing, but also acted as a spur to greater achievement.
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