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What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prince?

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:45 am
by Marcus Aurelius
http://s1305.photobucket.com/user/quasi ... c.jpg.html

Above is the link to the picture on the cover of my copy of The Prince. I am curious to know if anyone knows who the artist is that made this picture on the cover. Who the individual is, and what the hand sign is used on his left hand at his waist. What category of hand sign is it, and is there a credible work that explains other hand signs of this genre. Are there any other aspects of the cover page which reveal subtle images that I may not have mentioned? Thank you.

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:05 pm
by Skip
That's very odd. Most covers for that book feature an older, homelier Machiavelli. I don't know who painted this pretty one (When did he grow that nose??http://www.mannerism-in-art.org/Portrai ... -1527.html) but I suspect the position of the hand simply means "I know how to paint graceful hands." What may be more significant: he is usually shown with a book (indicating a scholar) in or under one hand, and a leather glove (falconer; sportsman; man of action), either in the other hand or hung on his belt.

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:18 pm
by marjoramblues
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bronzino/2/young_ma.html

'This is one of Bronzino's greatest portraits. The self-possessed aloofness of the sitter and the austere elegance of the Palace interior are hallmarks of the courtly style of portraiture he created for Medicean Florence. Although the sitter cannot be identified, he is likely a member of Bronzino's close circle of literary friends. The book held by the sitter in the portrait, the fanciful table and chair, with their grotesque decorations, introduce intentionally witty and capricious motifs: visual analogues to the sorts of literary conceits enjoyed by this cultivated society.
For this painting Bronzino used Pontormo's very influential composition of the portrait of Francesco Guardi as a halberdier.

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:45 pm
by marjoramblues
Eventually found my copy of 'The Prince'... (Oxford World's Classics, 2008)

with Cover Illustration:
detail from Portrait of Duke Cosimo I De' Medici, c. 1545, studio of Agnolo Bronzino.
The painting is one of some twenty-five similar works mainly produced by Bronzino's workshop to be used as state portraits, based on a prototype, now in Sidney, dated 1544.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosimo_I_d ... of_Tuscany

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:38 pm
by marjoramblues
Skip wrote:That's very odd. Most covers for that book feature an older, homelier Machiavelli. I don't know who painted this pretty one (When did he grow that nose??http://www.mannerism-in-art.org/Portrai ... -1527.html)
Different nose, different hands...eyes,...


the power of posing hands:

http://digital-photography-school.com/h ... -portraits

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:15 am
by Skip
Ah! Learn something every day. Thanks.

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:20 am
by marjoramblues
Skip wrote:Ah! Learn something every day. Thanks.
Same here! Thanks to wondering minds.

Still quite intrigued by artisticpositions and signs.
However, sometimes a pose is just a pose is just a pose, no?

Of a Prototype Prince...?


Evidence of conspiracy?
http://www.pseudoreality.org/westside.html

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:57 am
by marjoramblues
Marcus Aurelius wrote: ... what the hand sign is used on his left hand at his waist. What category of hand sign is it, and is there a credible work that explains other hand signs of this genre. Are there any other aspects of the cover page which reveal subtle images that I may not have mentioned? Thank you.
Thanks for posing the questions.
Why the interest in categories of hand signs, in particular the left hand?
Isn't the right hand doing something interesting too?

The meaning of 'gesture'

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:15 am
by marjoramblues
Pointing a different finger...
in a different direction...

Haven't read this, but thought it might be of interest, even if not concerning the same kind of 'gesture'.
An outlandish outlier...

http://www.amazon.com/Gesture-Naples-Cl ... 0253215064
Andrea di Jorio – his work on gestural expressions of the ancients in the light of Neapolitan gesturing – translated by Adam Kendon.

http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2003/2003-03-34.html
from Classical Review, 2003.
‘Andrea de Jorio's 1832 La mimica degli antichi investigata nel gestire napoletano systematically illustrates Neapolitan gestures, claiming at the same time their continuity with gestures of classical antiquity...
…the project took shape as he realized...how effective it was to draw on examples from modern Neapolitan gesturing in order to elucidate depictions on painted vases and Pompeian wall-paintings. The aim of the work is three-fold: to illustrate the connection between ancient and modern gesture, something that he believes should be useful to archaeologists in their research; to show that the ancients were living people like today's, which should increase interest in antiquity; to demonstrate the Neapolitan common people's richness in "natural philosophy, talent and spirit", contrary to the prejudices of foreign visitors...

…The main text constitutes over a hundred entries of gestures, alphabetically arranged, each carefully described, interpreted and commented upon…’

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:46 pm
by Skip
Yabbut - that little generic prince isn't gesturing, exactly: both his hands are at rest. The right is holding his place in a book, as if just interrupted at his reading (! by three months of 'sittings' for a portrait? What an advantage photographers have!) and the left is artfully arranged to show refinement. Which looks a lot more natural on the princeling than it does on the halberdier. On the latter, it can't mean anything; must be an artifice of the painter.

Re: What is the hand gesture shown on Machiavelli's The Prin

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:40 pm
by marjoramblues
Skip wrote:Yabbut - that little generic prince isn't gesturing, exactly: both his hands are at rest. The right is holding his place in a book, as if just interrupted at his reading (! by three months of 'sittings' for a portrait? What an advantage photographers have!) and the left is artfully arranged to show refinement. Which looks a lot more natural on the princeling than it does on the halberdier. On the latter, it can't mean anything; must be an artifice of the painter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gestures

Agreed. There are different types of 'gesture' and meaning...

Don't see anything particularly 'natural' about the left hand position; nor the 'interrupted reading'.

Must be symbolic -

M