Monday, March 26, 2012

Hands and Gestures in Paintings

Recently, I completed a painting of hand study:

Gestures / 手勢 / Gesten
Oil on Canvas
14" x 11"

This painting was a juxtaposition of hands in various gestures.  They are both simple study of "still life" and snapshots of vivid expressive gestures of hands, a most eloquent parts of our bodies, which can reveal much innermost emotions beyond the words.

This reminded me a fresco painting at Museo di San Marco, Firenze, by the great Renaissance painter, Fra Angelico, Mocking of Christ with the Virgin and Saint Dominic:

By a very slim margin, I didn't include this one in the picks of My Favorite Artworks at Museo di San Marco, Firenze, but it is one of my very favorite works indeed.

What I love in this amazing piece was its sparseness, fitting the Dominican Cloister perfectly.  The color schemes were appealingly subdued and subtle, with incredible beauty in every hue and they blended and contrasted masterfully.  Then, we have the saints in the foreground, each lost in his and her own thoughts and melancholy.  In the back, on the throne, the passive Jesus calmly receiving the abuses from mocking head and hands - instead of conventional mocking crowds, here the very economic usage of the few basic elements was just as overwhelming and even more cruel and terrifying. 

I hope that by putting my painting next to this masterpiece does not make my readers think that I am very presumptuous.  Rather, I am paying my tribute to the great master of the past, and demonstrate that whatever we deem modern or innovative, we can always trace the roots further back. Therefore, be humble.

1 comment:

  1. I love the gestural energy and dynamic motion in the work. A very exciting piece.