Astrology Of Artist’s Model & Muse: Jane Morris

I chose a portrait of Jane Morris for the last post dealing with responsibility.  She was born, October 19, 1839.

Jane Morris was the model and muse of various artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  She’s the model featured in this post. She was also the model for his painting, Venus Verticordia. You see that image on astrology blogs, frequently. I’ve used it myself, here.

She married, William Morris, who also painted her. You can see that image here – La Belle Iseult.

Artist, Edward Burne-Jones, used her as model for many of his stained glass windows. You can see one of them here – Jane Morris stained glass.

Are you curious about her chart? I was. It did not disappoint.

Mrs. Morris had a Libra sun which was part of a stellium in the sign that included, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter.  She had a Pisces, conjunct Uranus.

Mars was conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius. These bodies squared her sensitive moon. That’s a harsh combination.

Taken together, this explains her ethereal (Pisces) beauty (Libra), with it’s depressed or oppressed quality.

What do you see in these paintings?

28 thoughts on “Astrology Of Artist’s Model & Muse: Jane Morris”

  1. A beauty that doesn’t crumble under adversity. Pouty but not a scowl. I have always loved Pre Raphealite art. They so captured the time I feel. The quintessential Aries woman, at her best. Going along but she ain’t buying it.

  2. I wonder where her pluto is and its aspects. Mars conjunct saturn square moon speaks to me of repression at the hand of males. Ethereal beauty no doubt but who are the creators? Is her chair her prison? Big artists around her but she’s the muse. Her pisces moon must feel crushed, yet sacrificially resigned. That’s a serious pout. Is it her, I wonder, in the Persephone painting that Rossetti painted? I have an aries stellium including my moon, this just makes me sad and mad, seeing her sitting it out for someone else’s glory and artistic development. I like the works of both Dante and Morris – I think she would want to be them – that’s what I see.

    1. Pluto in Aries, opposing her Sun, but with a fairly wide orb (seven degrees).

      Yes, she was the model for Persephone and many other paintings.

    2. I was wondering about her chart, too, so I put her data into Her chart features Pluto conjunct Juno (orb of < 1°). She had a yod featuring Chiron (charisma) quincunx Mars in Sagittarius and Neptune in Aquarius.

      1. Ceres in Scorpio, along with Pallas.
        Vesta in Libra, near Venus.
        Posted too hastily, above. Chiron makes a quincunx to both Mars and Saturn – right between both in fact.

        *Elsa has posted a series of topics on Ceres in the signs – from the Asteroid reports – in case anyone didn’t see them*

  3. Here is a list of Rossetti’s paintings where she is the model:

    The Blue Silk Dress, 1868.
    Proserpine or Proserpina, 1874. Oil on canvas. Tate Britain gallery, London.
    Astarte Syriaca, 1875–79. City Art Gallery, Manchester.
    Beatrice, a Portrait of Jane Morris, 1879. Oil on canvas  13 1⁄2 × 11 inches.
    The Day Dream, 1880. Oil on canvas. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
    La Donna della Fiamma, 1877. Coloured chalks. Manchester Art Gallery.
    La Donna della Finestra, 1879. Oil on canvas. Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.
    La Donna Della Finestra, 1881 (unfinished).
    Jane Morris, c. 1860. Pencil.
    Jane Morris, 1865.
    Mariana, 1870. Aberdeen Art Gallery.
    Pandora, 1869.
    Pandora, 1871.
    Jane Morris 1865
    Jane Morris 1865
    La Pia de’ Tolomei, 1866–1870. Oil on canvas. Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.
    Portrait of Mrs William Morris.
    Portrait of Jane Morris, 1858. Pen.
    Reverie, 1868. Chalk on paper. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK.
    The Roseleaf, 1865. Pencil.
    Study of Guinevere for “Sir Lancelot in the Queen’s Chamber”, 1857.
    Water Willow, 1871. Delaware Art Museum

  4. How strange – yesterday I picked up a book I have on Wm Morris and his designs to read, a book I have owned for ten years and never really read, that has been tucked in a bookcase forever. Tonight, I see this.

  5. i read her biography, she came from a very poor and deprived upbringing, i’m favouring the impression that she felt exalted and thankful being the muse for such artists. she had that sorrowful look; like she knew hardship, that kind of thing doesn’t ever go away. i think that’s what the artists saw, her beauty and strength. i also read that mars square moon, in a woman’s chart she has to express her sexuality in some way.

  6. Her pluto opposite her sun is most visible in the paintings. The beauty and compliance of a Libran sun portraying to us the simmering, brooding pluto influence – highly evident on the face (aries). It would be interesting to see the charts of both Rossetti and W.Morris. Are they painting that plutonian hidden tension of which they are a part or are they simply highlighting the beauty of such an exquisite woman as Jane? How very interesting. I have transiting pluto square my moon / saturn at the moment and this is so fascinating to me. Thanks Elsa for replying with more information. A great post.

  7. Yasss! This woman. Such a beautiful interesting person and a complex love nature. She didn’t seem oppressed but maybe eternally disappointed in the men around her.

    I just compared hers and Rossetti’s charts–her Sun/Mercury/Jupiter fall on his North Node/Vertex conjunction. She certainly provided him ample inspiration. And his Pluto opposite her Venus by a degree? He was instantly taken in by her after seeing her at a theatre but was already engaged to another. But they kept up an emotional affair. And in true Plutonic fascination, he painted her over 30 times!! He had Venus in Cancer conjunct Saturn in the 2nd. All of his muses seemed to have this stately, stoic, yet unattainable plump-lipped femme fatale quality.

  8. I love Pre-Raphael art as well. Very interesting interpretations here. I am not surprised re the node/vertex conj and how it played a part in their artistic and plutonic relationship..interesting too I wonder if the word plutonic came from Pluto, it being the furthest planet in our galaxy.

    I also really love John William Waterhouse and my favorite is “The Lady of Shallot” or sometimes known also as “the Lady on the Lake”. The model was his sister. I don’t have any birth chart info on them, but someone else here might?

  9. And note if you look up this painting, she also has a whistful, sort of pouty look. Ironically these women represented the freedom of the new Suffregets or so I read. I guess they are independent, unencumbered by children or family in the paintings and in sort of another world of their own.

  10. I love his use of color. So saturated and rich. Even her skin tone is radiant. I’m sure that’s hard to achieve with paint.

  11. Avatar
    Telling tales

    She looks beautiful in La Belle Iseult.
    People look so much more attractive with their clothes on. Hopefully one day, modesty will make a come back.
    Strangely, in the Edward Burne-Jones painting, I can see a dogs face in the left hand ruffles of fabric under her belt. Cosmic.

  12. I used to adore the Pre-Raphaelites, many of their paintings are in the Whitworth Galley in Manchester. But since I read about some of their models unfortunate lives, I don’t rate them as much as I used to, and find many of the artists a little lost in their Neptunian romance and even a bit shallow.
    They would go out looking for what they called ‘stunners’, working class girls or not, they only thing they essentially cared about for arts sake was their physical beauty. Here is a link below to the story of one particular girl, Fanny Cornforth, she was the original model for Venus Verticordia. Her face was replaced by a newer model, Alexa Wilding, who Rosetti stopped in a London street and persuaded to become a model, to become his muse. She remained ‘respectable’ so Fannys body was kept. You can see in the painting there appears to be a disjoint.

    So Fanny became second best and he referred to her as ‘the elephant’ after she put on weight. What’s that saying about when Venus takes off her girdle she reveals her mysteries? And sadly that was what the Pre-Raphs wanted.
    Even the girls faces are interchangeable and similar, being made to represent an impossible icon of love, fashioned by men, not of themselves. To display them and even to own the mystery of women. Essentially they were middle class Victorians, narrow men at heart, even when avoiding their class-constricted families, trying to escape the new Industrial Age. Especially when you compare them to Georgian feminist radical poet Shelley. And this despite making some of their working class girls their spouses.
    No wonder the women suffered from depression, like Elizabeth Siddal, or tried to raise themselves up from their low birth by education like Jane Morris. But they were never really seen as the equals of men as we see women today. Fanny became Rosetti’s housekeeper and his family kicked her out after his death. She died in the workhouse, mentally ill and her beauty destroyed by age and mental illness. Venus checkmated by Saturn.

    However the paintings are beautiful, I think the paintings of Fanny are of the most beautiful girl of them all, because she is the most real. Her personality shines through, a real woman in an unreal, symbolist dream:
    Lizzy Siddal had a realistic and powerful artists view of herself, at odds with the Neptunian ‘glamour’ of Rosetti. His inconstancy and affairs eventually drove her over the brink. I think it would be amazing to have a drama biopic that celebrates the actual women for the first time, the real Venusians. The real Power.

      1. Thanks Tam, yes I bet she was a match for Rosetti. She was a real character and had a working class gift for survival. Options after they became models were really narrow. Being seen as low and amoral, the same as for actresses. I suppose that’s the Venus-Neptune, goddess-whore-victim, along with a dose of Plutonic femme-fatale that the artists kept hunted to capture.

    1. Thanks for this Stargirl! Very enlightening!
      Such a tragic end and awfully sad illusions these women lived through. I am not sure now where I read about the women muses and representing Suffregettes but now I think it meant they symbolized literal societal suffering and not their fight for independence. Though now appears that Rosetti was not a supporter in their movement, and it’s sad to hear he mocked one of his models for gaining weight. So much for progress, as in that way of beauty and fashion, and the pressure woman have on them, not much has changed. Though plus size models are making more appearances.

      1. I guess despite their sad lives they also were striving to be the equals of the artists, but how could they in the eyes of the wider world? The stifling constructs of the Victorian class system meant their emancipation only just begins with voting rights. They were men’s property in essence and once they had thrown in their lot (like the young mistress of Charles Dickens) they had to make the best of it.
        Perhaps it was a better life than they would have had otherwise, and there is no judgement on that.
        When Tracey Emin exhibited her bed it was a feminist statement. A woman artist not being the subject but making herself and her sexual life the subject. It was shocking to many, because we are steeped even now in looking at women in certain ways. It is fascinating stuff to consider!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top