Last month, I found a huge number of artists born under a Cancer Sun. It seems that Leos are less prone to pick up a paintbrush. I think a lot of them might find being in a studio all day too lonely.
So no surprise then that possibly the most famous Leo artist of the 20th century, Andy Warhol (6 August 1928), made sure that loads of people came to his studio, which he called The Factory.. This is typically Leo in that it’s about having a big vision and organising people.
I’ve always found the contrast between Warhol’s clinical eye and beautiful colours strangely cruel and unnerving. He had a selfish but pioneeringly weird Moon-Uranus conjunction in Aries. That combined with Mercury, Moon, Venus, Neptune and Ascendant in Leo could make for someone pretty self-centred.
Joshua Reynolds (27 July 1723) was another great self-promoter. Like Warhol he was a celebrity in his own right and knew anybody worth knowing in Georgian London. He painted all the notables of his day. But he was more than that, as well as being an excellent painter, he was an intellectual and a macher. He set up the Royal Academy in London which is still an important institution today.
And here’s another macher and portrait painter, Thomas Eakins (25 July 1844). The master of Philadelphia not only made dozens of meticulous, profound portraits, he taught generations of American artists to look and look again. Of course his teaching career was marred by controversy, but many of his students liked him enough to help him set up a new school
It’s not surprising that there’s a theatrical, costumed element to some of these paintings, since theatre is Leo’s realm. Gluck never dressed in women’s clothes anyway. And Zinkeisen was actually a costume designer.
Judith Leyster is wearing the Sun around her neck, and Florine Stettheimer, a theatre designer, has included the Sun in her self-portrait. But it’s interesting that some of these Leos see themselves as half in shadow — Warhol, Clarke, Doris Clare Zinkeisen.
It’s noticeable that there’s quite a lot of red in some of these pictures too.
But on the whole, I think the Leo artists are pretty varied!