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The Hands of Leonardo da Vinci

Guy Rooker

Wednesday 20th February 2019


The hand has been an underestimated but nevertheless central component of visual art. Leonardo stated that the hand can be as expressive as the face and acknowledged that the structure and function of the hand was the organ through which an artist expresses himself.

His remarkably accurate drawings of the six layers of anatomy of the hand are testament to his pursuit of detail. He used this knowledge in the narrative of the Last Supper. In Leonardo’s version of the Vitruvian Man, the hand is used as the  unit of measurement to demonstrate the concept of divine proportion.

This talk reveals the way in which Leonardo investigated the form and function of the hand. His painting and narrative art are reviewed to demonstrate how he used this knowledge to depict the hand as a form of expression.

 Guy Rooker comes to the Arts Society from the world of science in general and surgery in particular. He describes himself as a retired surgeon with a lifelong passion, fascination and admiration for the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

‘I consider the contribution he has made to the world of art and the investigation of scientific concepts to be quite unique and extraordinary in the way that so many of his pioneering investigations have contributed to the understanding of our world today’