The great 17th century portraitist Anthony Van Dyck, a March 22 Aries, adored the ferric oxide pigment which has come to be known as Van Dyck red and made it the principal feature of many paintings. Red swags, red drapes, red trousers, dresses, robes, ribbons, tablecloths, stockings, capes, cloaks, rags, you name it.
Strange! That thy hand should not inspire
The beauty only, but the fire:
Not the form alone, and grace,
But act and power of a face. (Waller, To Van Dyck)
Van Dyck introduced to portraiture the goal of presenting, on a red curtained theatrical stage, distinctive, individual personality, dash and flair. His years (1599-1641) correspond to those of Descartes. His subjects all say, "Therefore I AM!" Descartes (born March 31, 1596-1650), the philosopher who ushers in the modern era, is ground zero for a methodical exposition of the zodiac as an approach to the post-modern Subject. (Which is in the works, but we're doing red dresses now.) We have no portrait of Descartes in red (although he was known to dress en militaire and carry a sword). Let Van Dyck represent him visually.