Signs of the zodiac

The twelve signs of the zodiac, which are at the same time also reminiscent of the twelve months of the year, were selected as the theme for the wall decorations in the Planetary Room in addition to the celestial programme. The paintings show the signs of the zodiac together with mythical stories as to how they came into being.

Virgo and Libra

Bellona, the goddess of war rides across the earth on a chariot drawn by dragons. In her terrible entourage are all the burdens of war; Together with a brutal warrior Conflict, Deception, Treachery and Arrogance banish all the good from the world. Fertility and Peace are pushed to the ground by the dragon; Faith and Hope seeking shelter crouch in the farthest corner of the painting. Finally, Justice leaves the earth. She will appear in the night sky in the constellation of Virgo and Libra.

In this work the artist was able to take the opportunity of joining two signs of the zodiac in one painting. Astrea was the virgin goddess of justice. The Romans called her Justitia. As an attribute of justice, the scales, for which there was originally no story of origin, were ideal when combined with the heavenly virgin and thus take their place among the constellations. After all, there was originally no mythical creation story for the constellation of Libra.

Taurus

Zeus falls deeply in love with Europa, the beautiful daughter of the Phoenician king, Agenor. To gain her trust and get close to her he assumes the guise of a white bull. She is struck by the beauty of the bull and starts playing with him placing flower garlands on his horns. Her confidence increases and she jumps on his back. She is then abducted by Zeus, who carries her across the sea to a new continent, which should bear her name. It was here where he reveals himself to be a god. Astrological myths later turn the bull into a more than just a guise, but a helper instead. As a reward for his services, the bull was placed among the stars as the constellation "Taurus". In the front of this painting Weissenkircher shows Europa's lamenting parents.

 

Pisces

 

Venus and Amor have to flee across the river Euphrates after having been attacked by the monster Typhon. Legend has it that they transform themselves into fish and are able to get to safety. In Weissenkircher's representation they are, however, not transformed into fish, but are stepping out of the jaws of a fish and going safely ashore. As a reward for the rescue, two fish were set among the stars as the constellation Pisces.

 

Scorpion

The giant Orion is hunting in the woods. Vengeful Diana picks up a stone and a scorpion crawls out from under it. Sent forth by Diana, the scorpion kills Orion with his poisonous sting. Orion is, however, also able to slay the scorpion. For his services, the scorpion was turned into a constellation and a sign of the zodiac.

Schloss Eggenberg and Gardens

Eggenberger Allee 90
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9532
F +43-316/8017-9555
eggenberg@museum-joanneum.at

 

Opening Hours


State Rooms:
24 March -  31 October 2018   
admission with guided tour only

Guided Tours: Tues-Sun and public holidays at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm (exceptions may apply), and additionally by appointment.
Group visits (7 people or more) by appointment only. 

Park and Gardens:
1 November - 23 March: daily, 8am-5pm  
1 January 10am-5pm
24 March -  31 October 2018: daily, 8am-7pm
November - March: daily, 8am-5pm