Throughout his career Rodin executed several sculptures on the subject of hands, including the following six works. Rodin was drawn to the infinite varieties of expression and gesture possible within the human hand. John Tancock explored this fascination stating: “Certainly Rodin devoted more attention to this immensely flexible part of the human body than he did to any other part... A particular impetus to his fascination with the expressive power of hands may well have been given in 1887, however, when he received his copy of Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion… Muybridge reproduced photographs of hands that were dramatically illuminated and silhouetted against a dark background. These photographs must surely have convinced Rodin of what he knew intuitively already, namely that the hand in isolation was capable of expressing an infinite variety of emotions and could, moreover, in its own right, constitute a sculptural statement” (John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, The Collection of the Rodin Museum Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1976, p. 616).
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