Judas, the traitor, represents the Cancer sign.
He is holding a bag of silver! Judas is the shadowy figure in the painting who does not reflect light.
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The clandestine traitor, Judas, forms a pair with Christ in the painting. The Christ figure is the bright Sun 2 , and Judas is the dark Moon.
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The two have a direct, sinister connection, which gives additional symbolic evidence of Judas as the apostle symbolic of Cancer. Thus the watery signs are represented as mutable, fixed, and cardinal, from closest to the Christ figure to the farthest, in the first group.
The mutable-fixed-cardinal pattern continues to the right of Christ. Philip, stretching towards Christ while gesturing with both hands towards himself, seems rather Venusian — long hair, no beard, almost reminiscent of paintings with Venus literally in them. His actions also suggest balancing, characteristic of the Libra sign.
Thaddeus Jude literally has a flame fire as his symbol and he appears as oldest of the fire trio. The earth signs are intriguing for different reasons. As he appears, imagining that his Virgo sensibilities have been shaken up is not difficult. Bartholomew, on the outer left of the painting, seems a bit dour and definitely concerned. He is the Capricorn sign. The earthy trio appears somewhat muted and stable, compared to the other trios of apostles note the active, spread out fiery trio, and the uneven heads of the trios closest to Christ.
The earthy trio is quite level and looks consistent among the three. With all of the talk about the apostles symbolizing the signs, what does the Christ figure symbolize?
He is the Sun. He is also the ultimate symbol of the Age of Pisces. Using this as a basis of reference, it can be argued that all of the apostles symbolize the Age of Pisces, with each apostle symbolizing a different dwadasama within the Pisces sign. But why was it? Branchus the son of Apollo, whom he begot of Jance, Succron's daughter saith Lactantius , when he kept King Admetus' herds in Thessaly, now grown a man, was an earnest suitor to his mother to know his father; the nymph denied him, because Apollo had conjured her to the contrary; yet overcome by his importunity at last she sent him to his father; when he came into Apollo's presence, malas Dei reverenter osculatus , he carried himself so well, and was so fair a young man, that Apollo was infinitely taken with the beauty of his person, he could scarce look off him, and said he was worthy of such parents, gave him a crown of gold, the spirit of divination, and in conclusion made him a demigod.
Beauty is a dower of itself, a sufficient patrimony, an ample commendation, an accurate epistle, as Lucian, Apuleius, Tiraquellus, and some others conclude.click
Imperio digna forma , beauty deserves a kingdom, saith Abulensis, paradox. They will adore, cringe, compliment, and bow to a common wench if she be fair as if she were a noble woman, a countess, a queen, or a goddess. Those intemperate young men of Greece erected at Delphos a golden image with infinite cost, to the eternal memory of Phryne the courtesan, as Aelian relates, for she was a most beautiful woman, insomuch, saith Athenaeus, that Apelles and Praxiteles drew Venus's picture from her.
Thus young men will adore and honour beauty; nay kings themselves I say will do it, and voluntarily submit their sovereignty to a lovely woman.
George W. Della | Revolvy
When they have got gold and silver, they submit all to a beautiful woman, give themselves wholly to her, gape and gaze on her, and all men desire her more than gold or silver, or any precious thing: they will leave father and mother, and venture their lives for her, labour and travel to get, and bring all their gains to women, steal, fight, and spoil for their mistress's sake. And no king so strong, but a fair woman is stronger than he is.
So did Rosamond insult over King Henry the Second. And those mali genii are taken with it, as I have already proved. Formosam Barbari verentur, et ad spectum pulchrum immanis animus mansuescit. The barbarians stand in awe of a fair woman, and at a beautiful aspect a fierce spirit is pacified. For when as Troy was taken, and the wars ended as Clemens Alexandrinus quotes out of Euripides angry Menelaus with rage and fury armed, came with his sword drawn, to have killed Helen, with his own hands, as being the sole cause of all those wars and miseries: but when he saw her fair face, as one amazed at her divine beauty, he let his weapon fall, and embraced her besides, he had no power to strike so sweet a creature.
Ergo habetantur enses pulchritudine , the edge of a sharp sword as the saying is is dulled with a beautiful aspect, and severity itself is overcome. Hiperides the orator, when Phryne his client was accused at Athens for her lewdness, used no other defence in her cause, but tearing her upper garment, disclosed her naked breast to the judges, with which comeliness of her body and amiable gesture they were so moved and astonished, that they did acquit her forthwith, and let her go.
O noble piece of justice! Such prerogatives have fair persons, and they alone are free from danger. Parthenopaeus was so lovely and fair, that when he fought in the Theban wars, if his face had been by chance bare, no enemy would offer to strike at or hurt him, such immunities hath beauty. Beasts themselves are moved with it. Si me parentibus et proco formoso reddideris, quas, tibi gratias, quos honores habebo, quos cibos exhibebo?
And besides she would have a dainty picture drawn, in perpetual remembrance, a virgin riding upon an ass's back with this motto, Asino vectore regia virgo fugiens captivitatem ; why said she all this? A fly lighted on Malthius' cheek as he lay asleep; but why? Not to hurt him, as a parasite of his, standing by, well perceived, non ut pungeret, sed ut oscularetur , but certainly to kiss him, as ravished with his divine looks.
Inanimate creatures, I suppose, have a touch of this. When a drop of Psyche's candle fell on Cupid's shoulder, I think sure it was to kiss it. When Venus ran to meet her rose-cheeked Adonis, as an elegant poet of our's sets her out,. Aer ipse amore inficitur , as Heliodorus holds, the air itself is in love: for when Hero plaid upon her lute,.
That seas and waters are enamoured with this our beauty, is all out as likely as that of the air and winds; for when Leander swam in the Hellespont, Neptune with his trident did beat down the waves, but. The river Alpheus was in love with Arethusa, as she tells the tale herself,. Inachus and Pineus, and how many loving rivers can I reckon up, whom beauty hath enthralled!
I say nothing all this while of idols themselves that have committed idolatry in this kind, of looking-glasses, that have been rapt in love if you will believe poets , when their ladies and mistresses looked on to dress them. But of all the tales in this kind, that is the most memorable of Death himself, when he should have strucken a sweet young virgin with his dart, he fell in love with the object.
Many more such could I relate which are to be believed with a poetical faith. So dumb and dead creatures dote, but men are mad, stupefied many times at the first sight of beauty, amazed, as that fisherman in Aristaenetus that spied a maid bathing herself by the seaside,. And as Lucian, in his images, confesses of himself, that he was at his mistress's presence void of all sense, immovable, as if he had seen a Gorgon's head: which was no such cruel monster as Coelius interprets it, lib. When fair Hero came abroad, the eyes, hearts, and affections of her spectators were still attendant on her.
Such lovely sights do not only please, entice, but ravish and amaze. Cleonimus, a delicate and tender youth, present at a feast which Androcles his uncle made in Piraeo at Athens, when he sacrificed to Mercury, so stupefied the guests, Dineas, Aristippus, Agasthenes, and the rest as Charidemus in Lucian relates it , that they could not eat their meat, they sat all supper time gazing, glancing at him, stealing looks, and admiring of his beauty.
That one woman was worth a kingdom, a hundred thousand other women, a world itself. Well might Sterpsichores be blind for carping at so fair a creature, and a just punishment it was. The same testimony gives Homer of the old men of Troy, that were spectators of that single combat between Paris and Menelaus at the Seian gate, when Helen stood in presence; they said all, the war was worthily prolonged and undertaken for her sake. The very gods themselves as Homer and Isocrates record fought more for Helen, than they did against the giants. When Venus lost her son Cupid, she made proclamation by Mercury, that he that could bring tidings of him should have seven kisses; a noble reward some say, and much better than so many golden talents; seven such kisses to many men were more precious than seven cities, or so many provinces.
Great Alexander married Roxanne, a poor man's child, only for her person. Orlando was mad for Angelica, and who doth not condole his mishap? Thisbe died for Pyramus, Dido for Aeneas; who doth not weep, as before his conversion Austin did in commiseration of her estate! But this is not the matter in hand; what prerogative this beauty hath, of what power and sovereignty it is, and how far such persons that so much admire, and dote upon it, are to be justified; no man doubts of these matters; the question is, how and by what means beauty produceth this effect?
By sight: the eye betrays the soul, and is both active and passive in this business; it wounds and is wounded, is an especial cause and instrument, both in the subject and in the object. Ut vidi ut perii. Schechem saw Dinah the daughter of Leah, and defiled her, Gen. Jacob, Rachel, xxix. The Elders, Susanna, as that Orthomenian Strato saw fair Aristoclea daughter of Theophanes, bathing herself at that Hercyne well in Lebadea, and were captivated in an instant. Viderunt oculi, rapuerunt pectora flammae ; Ammon fell sick for Thamar's sake, 2 Sam.
Joseph was so fair, that, as the ordinary gloss hath it, filiae decurrerent per murum, et ad fenestras , they ran to the top of the walls and to the windows to gaze on him, as we do commonly to see some great personage go by: and so Matthew Paris describes Matilda the Empress going through Cullen. Morales the Jesuit saith as much of the Virgin Mary.
Antony no sooner saw Cleopatra, but, saith Appian, lib.
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