Why are hands symbols?
What is it about a hand? Or hands?
Is it just that we have these thumbs or that we can make gestures that people understand world round? Then there's sign language. Like gestures, this is talking without sound, like gestures some with one movement some with multiple movements.
Hands were a reason armour making got so advanced. The joints had to eventually move with our hands to make the gloves really useful. Same as with the rest of the joints, knee, ankle,elbow but the hands have those magic small sophisticated movements, fine motor control.
So artists of course got intrigued. Durer probably has drawn the most important or at least famous set of hands with his Praying hands.
What do these say? How do they project feeling? What is that feeling, wanting, hurting, forgiveness? They are powerful. On a page alone pointed up ward. Clasped together and pointed up, up to God. These hands
Were done by someone that understood the language of hands an unwritten language. Not medical and having nothing to do with science but spiritual, silent and never spoken. How hands could be a symbol. A child's hand next to dad's hand explodes as a narrative about father's and sons. Stories evolve, they come forth, memories stream out of recessed places in our brains and Durer tapped this in those praying hands.
We replace them with hooks and apparatuses. Poor substitutes for what was there but important to the wearer and a constant reminder. These also become symbol. Durer would have seen that also.
The following are hands done by artists. Some are by Michelangelo and yes they are muscular. Some are by just the rest of us that understand the symbol of hand and what that says.

drawinghands.jpg MC Escher

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

hands-with-a-stick-1885-artist-Vincent-Van-Gogh.jpg Van Gogh

Two of the most beautiful hands I know. Michelangelo

blind-contour-palm.gif Thumbblind-contour-fist.gif Fistblind-contour-palm.gifPalm
The above are studies, contour studies.
2034.jpg This Albrect Durer's The Apostles Hands Or the Praying Hands. There seems to be different versions. At any rate They are filled with passion. We might say Possessed with passion. They are at once beautifully simple and complex. They are a story unto themselves.


study-of-three-hands-artist-Albrecht-Durer.jpg Durer, A study or hands.

study-of-hands-1913-artist-Egon-Schiele.jpg Egon Schiele

1339695304287.jpg These hands maybe the oldest hands by the oldest artist that we know of. They are cave paintings. How do you think they were done? It is really quite simple and brilliant.

Figured it out yet?


1199345176BabyinHands2.jpg Tirrell Grimsley

The muscle, the skin and the skeleton by Alessandro Allori

h2_08.210.jpg Alice Schwartz


Notice the arcs. Now, look at your hand. That's right the same arcs. And the palm, what shape is that? Reduce the hand to simple geometric shapes And use lines as direction for the fingers. There will be added rectangles for each part of each finger. The joints actually start at the knuckle which makes the first rectangle longer than the rest. Can you find a mathematical equation here to use for drawing the fingers, a proportion?


how-to-draw-hands-5.jpg how-to-draw-hands.jpg How to draw hands.



Graffiti, but not ghetto. Notice all the symbols?


Tanya Rookes

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Henry Moore