Modigliani – talent, addiction and Johnny Depp

  The anguished, tragically short life of Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani is the subject of a new Johnny Depp film project as director, with Al Pacino producing. He became renowned for his pictures of nudes with elongated faces and limbs as well as his vagabond lifestyle in bohemian Paris in the early 20th Century, succumbing to drug and alcohol addiction.

  He was born on 12 July 1884 8.10 am Livorno, Italy, into an educated, once wealthy Jewish family who has fallen on hard times. His mother was instrumental in nurturing his talent through an illness-ridden childhood with bouts of pleurisy, typhoid fever and the tuberculosis which finally killed him aged 35.

He had a creative Sun, Venus, Mercury in Cancer with artistic Neptune in Taurus on his Midheaven and an influential Pluto as well as a hard-working Saturn in his 10th. These 10th house planets all suggest a mother who would instil discipline, expectations and be a driving force in his life. His Saturn was square an explosive Mars Uranus in Virgo so he wasn’t the most stable of temperaments; and he had a sensitive Pisces Moon in his 7th house of close relationships square his Pluto. He had several affairs and several children by different mothers.

  His escalating reliance on drugs and alcohol may have been a way to ease his physical pain and to mask his tuberculosis from his acquaintances.  Tuberculosis — the leading cause of death in France by 1900 was highly infectious with no cure, and those who had it were ostracized. Modigliani thrived on company and would not let himself be isolated. The film will focus on the year of his only exhibition in Paris in 1917 which was a sensational success, though controversial because of his nudes. Despite his growing reputation he made little money and died in poverty three years later of tuberculosis.

  It’s no surprise that Johnny Depp was drawn to Modigliani since his North Node is conjunct Modigliani’s Sun, Venus and Mercury and his Venus Mercury are conjunct AM’s Midheaven and Neptune. Depp also has the explosive Mars Uranus in Virgo of his art idol, in his case conjunct Pluto, with AM’s Pluto also being highly prominent. Depp’s Gemini Sun is conjunct AM’s 10th house Saturn for a workmanlike connection and perhaps a hope from Depp that he might pull himself out of the sleaze of the Heard libel trial and gain a little gravitas. He is also playing King Louis XV in French director Maïwenn’s historical love story Jeanne du Barry, which started shooting in late July and is Depp’s first feature in three years.

 He does have a long career ahead though with humps and bumps in 2023/24 along with some success but certainly won’t be disappearing into obscurity any time soon.

6 thoughts on “Modigliani – talent, addiction and Johnny Depp

  1. Speaking of this astro resonance connection,when John mulvaney did the voice of chip chipmunk in the 2022 chip and Dale movie rescue rangers john ‘s brother,and father are named chip,so maybe Disney was asking John to honor his family by playing the role of a famous male cartoon chipmunk,its amazing how astrology shows these mirror type stuff between us humans,and stuff around us,whether real,or fictional.,I learned this when John,and Andy were promoting the movie,and filling in for Jimmy kimmel on his late night talk show in Los Angeles,California.

  2. Yes, both Modi and Depp have Mars-Uranus in Virgo first house, so being bold and unruly is part and parcel of their personality.
    Depp will direct the movie but it is not yet known if he will also star in it.

    But how strange to see him as Louis XV. The latter had 5 planets in fire signs (his reign was the peak of the Enlightenment period ) whereas Depp has none, and lots of earth instead – yet his Leo ascendant may make him look royal and he will likely enjoy spending time in Versailles castle and gardens after “the sleaze of the Heard libel trial”!

  3. Thank you, Marjorie. I realise that to focus in on just one aspect is simplistic but Modigliani’s Mars/Uranus conjunction makes an uncanny appearance in the charts of two other innovative artists who sprung to mind, with not only tragically short lives due to tuberculosis, but whose work shocked the public and whose family fortunes were lost in some way.

    British artist and illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (21/8/1872) whose grotesque erotic works were shocking in their explicitness. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century, associated with Oscar Wilde and James McNeill Whistler. His father lost his family inheritance soon after Beardsley’s birth, when he was sued for breach of promise of marriage. Although Beardsley was gay, it was rumoured that he had had a sexual relationship with his sister, Mabel. Beardsley died tragically young at 25 from the tuberculosis which he had contracted as a child of 7. He had Mars conjunct Uranus in Leo in his 7th house. The conjunction squares onto Neptune in his financial 2nd house.

    Théodore Géricault (26/9/1791) was a leading artist in the French Romantic style whose most famous painting, “The Raft of the Medusa” was shocking, not only because of the subject matter itself (the shipwrecked victims resorted to cannibalism) but because it was seen at the time as political, a seering exposure of the incompetence of the authorities in failing to rescue the shipwrecked men. Géricault also relied on a family inheritance, but lost it when he invested his fortune in a business which failed. He also had an affair with a family member, his Uncle’s wife. He died at the age of 32 from tuberculosis and his final self-portrait shocks in its portrayal of the ravages of TB upon the physical body. Géricault had a Mars/Uranus conjunction in Leo, tied into both Saturn and Pluto.

    The aspect can be a powerhouse when it’s applied to creativity, cutting through tradition and overturning old structures. Modigliani likewise endeavoured to break away from artistic norms, he was political and (though it’s now a cliché) railed against the ‘bourgeoisie’ who he despised. All three artists liked to shock in typical Mars/Uranus fashion.

    I’m not sure how Depp is going to pull this off — Modigliani was only 35 when he died, whereas Depp is almost 60. Still….Hollywood.

  4. I compared Modgliani ‘s death chart with Depp’s birth chart – VERY interesting if you believe in reincarnation.
    at death 24. Jan 1920 in Paris
    Sun/Chiron mid point 3.o8 Pisces opposite. Depp’s Mars. 3.13 Virgo
    Jupiter. 14.26 Leo Chiron 14.52. Pisces
    Venus. 23.48 Sag Saturn 23.04 Aquarius
    Saturn/Neptune. 25.33 Leo Venus. 25.17 Taurus
    Mars/ Neptune. 18.42 Virgo Sun 18.02 Gemini
    Uranus 00.05 Pisces Sun/Neptune. 00.43 Virgo
    Pluto. 6.13 Cancer Pluto/MC. 6.29 Cancer
    Mars/Pluto 6.25 Virgo

  5. Thanks Marjorie. It’s always so interesting to see connections between famous historical figures and those who depict them in some way later on. Sometimes it’s like a sort of astro DNA spiral through the centuries. When I think of all the possible permutations, these links are truly thought provoking.

    I had to look briefly at Louis XV – 15 February 1710, the subject of Depp’s current feature film. Depp’s Mercury Venus in Taurus are square Louis’ Uranus and Pluto in Leo, and Sun in Aquarius. Depp’s Uranus/Mars is exactly conjunct Louis XV’s South Node in Virgo. Depp’s intense movie presence type Neptune in Scorpio squares Louis’ Mars in Aquarius, and trines his Mercury in Pisces. And on it goes. Mme du Barry (19 August 1743) also has Neptune, 13 Cancer, trine Depp’s Neptune, which is conjunct her South Node, amongst other connections.

    Depp is having his second Saturn return, perhaps this has encouraged these history-based projects.

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