The hand of art touches a million generations: Annalise stood before Botticelli’s painting Venus and Mars. All the while she thought to herself, “Their hands are overly languid.” Leaving her with the impression of finality.
No two hands are like. Our hands never approach or leave a task the same way. Our hands are the tools of art; both in and out. As Annalise stared at the hands of Venus and at the hands of Mars she fell into and absorbed trance. “Why are they so indifferent to themselves and to each other?” Her thoughts were not casual nor were they meant to be intellectual. Her astute observation created an inner vacancy, wrapped in melancholy. Thoughts merged. Annalise realized Botticelli had much more to say with those renditions of their hands, than the original intent of showing their post-coital bliss. Again she thought, “I see a story in their hands and I don’t quite know how to best interpret that story.”
Human hands have their own language, guided by our brains; bringing forth creative thoughts into a chosen medium. Perhaps one of the most hand centric devices, which was created by; and performed on; is the piano. Invariably the perception of all beauty that melds with the senses, can and does owe much to the hands of its creator.
Annalise often visited the National Gallery in London. Thinking to herself: “I wonder why I am always drawn to this painting and their hands.” She never was quite able to draw any meaningful conclusions. She often thought; “There are literally hundreds of paintings to see here, but yet, why this one? A goodly percentage of paintings I can see, portray hands from people of all ages.” “It’s nettlesome!” Hoping to herself, that this ever present fixation wasn’t being recorded by some security camera.
Take a look at your own hands. What do they tell you, what have they done, and what have you created with them? You fixed a meal to eat with those hands; which is probably a good use, because that meal provides the body with the sustenance it needs to make sure those hands perform their assigned duties. Did you ever write a story as I am doing now? There would not be much to read if my brain was not directing my hands to organize letters from the alphabet into words and sentences that hopefully make some sense.
A sculptor’s chisel manipulated by the subtleties of movement, directed by the skilled carvers hand: gives you— The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. Take a look at his statue, and those expressive hands. They were carved with a chisel held in two hands.
As the museum day visit wore on, Annalise wandered; both in her mind; and through the various museum galleries. Perpetually looking for how hands were rendered in various paintings and sculptures. Again she thought to herself; “oh yes, Botticelli— the hands of a master painter, those hands of Venus and those hands of Mars were like punctuation points to the ever present battle in our minds of love and war.” “That is often portrayed in our thoughts way to indifferently.”
Let’s shake hands. Let’s celebrate our grasping organ… Let’s pick up a brush, a pen, or place our hands just so; on the keys of a piano. Send those creative thoughts to all ten digits. Let them do our minds bidding. Let us embrace wonderment, as Annalise did; and observe the power in the hands of a million generations of humankind.
Annalise is a fictional character. It is always fun to build fictional characters when you write. The name Annalise means grace. Which invariably reminds me of the triumvirate— The Three Graces. The painting that has inspired centuries of artists, from the handheld paintbrushes of Botticelli, all the way to Picasso. Annalise understood, “The Hand of Art.” She pronounced to all that would listen to her; “I see in the hands of Venus and in the hands of Mars; our strengths and our weaknesses; which I believe to be common to us all.”