Study of Hands by Leonardo da Vinci

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These hands, dated around 1474, in silverpoint on prepared paper enhanced with white, were possibly for a portrait that has since been lost, called the Lady of Lichtenstein portrait. These elegant, loosely held hands probably represent the most exquisite drawing of hands in the history of art. Every detail of the long fingers and the beautifully modulated shading produces a convincing effect of reality so that one can almost know the person from her hands. The foreshortened left forearm is swiftly and simply drawn. One can easily visualize these arms moving in conjunction with the body. This is an exercise in how to draw human hands to the peak of human skill.


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