Friday, February 22, 2013

the constellation Virgo


11th in the Western Zodiac series is Virgo. Only have one left to make!

The silver stars and silhouette of Virgo are illustrated in this handmade block print. The Greeks and Romans associated Virgo with their goddess of wheat/agriculture, Demeter, who is the mother of Persephone and often shown like this with a palm frond and a sheath of wheat. Parts of the constellations of Bootes, Libra, Corvus and Crater and the dashed line of the ecliptic are also shown. If you imagined all celestial bodies we see in the night sky as mapped onto a sphere (the Celestial Sphere) around our Earth, the ecliptic would be the line you would draw to map the apparent path of the Sun through the various constellations. The word Virgo and symbol ♍ appear at the top of the image. The lines linking the constellation appear in silver-on-blue or blue-on-silver as appropriate. There are a few bright galaxies or star clusters shown as circles. I printed an edition of ten prints, 10 inches by 7.5 inches (25.4 cm by 19 cm) on lovely, deep blue, handmade, Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper with silk fibres.

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