photo courtesy of www.leonardoshands.com

Recently, while researching our uppers specialists, I found something interesting about one of our Boston doctors.  He is part of a project that is studying the art of Leonardo Da Vinci and the hand differences found in some of his art.
Yes.  You read that correctly.
Did you have any idea that Leonardo Da Vinci featured hand differences?
Like that picture above?  They've diagnosed the hand difference there and it is found in the painting of The Last Supper.
Whose hand is that in the painting?
There are several theories as to why the master artist would have given Jesus a hand difference.  It was a fascinating article.  You can find it at www.leonardoshands.com.
Apparently this is not the only piece of art by Leonardo that features a hand difference.
As I read about the project, it kind of sounded like a real life Davinci's Code - except less about religious artifacts and twisted scripture and more about art and medical conditions.

Jusepe de RIBERA (Játiva, 1591-Naples, 1652)The Clubfoot1642
© Musée du Louvre/A. Dequier - M. Bard

This painting shows a young boy with a clubfoot.  It is hanging in Paris in the Louvre.  I came across this early on in my research about Ellie's arthrogyposis.  I think the boy is smiling and that makes me happy.  He is also standing.

I have no idea what this history of this piece is or why the artist chose to include a club foot.

Or there's this, by Rembrandt.
photo courtesy of The Met.

Rembrandt was Dutch. And Holland has windmills.  There's an essay that anyone who has ever had a special needs child has read entitled, "Welcome to Holland."  Since first reading that while pregnant with Will, I developed a love for windmills.  I have a framed painting in our living room of one that my grandmother brought me from Holland.  I love the reminder that though this may not have been my plan, initially, it's a good plan and here in Holland, we have windmills.

I'm not an art historian by any means.  I enjoy art and I love history but I couldn't begin to explain these pieces.  I just know that it makes me happy when I see differences featured in art.  When they are not on display or exploited - but just a part of a person's body.  Because God created all different types of human bodies and the body is beautiful - in whatever form it may be in.  

And I can't help but wonder, how many millions and millions of people have observed some of these pieces of art?  How many have travelled to Italy to stand in the nearly ruined monastery in Milan?  How many have passed by Ribera's painting in the Louvre?
And I wonder how many saw the art, and not the medical condition?
How many discussed its beauty and never noticed any difference?
How many praised the master artist?

My children are art too.  They have a Creator who designed them with a meticulous eye for detail.  They are beautiful works of art created by a Master Artist.
It is my prayer that people would see the masterpiece, that they would give credit to the Artist and that the difference?  The medical condition?  It would just be a detail among details in the masterpiece.

3 thoughts:

gtown1 said...

Beautiful Katie. So amazing to read. Thanks for educating and opening eyes to continue to be in awe of our Creator and all of His masterpieces.
love, EJ

Tracey S. said...

The authors of the Arthrogryposis Text Atlas think that the picture of the boy with clubfoot actually has Amyoplasia based on his hand positioning! They cite this painting as proof that AMC has been around for centuries even though it wasn't named until the 1800's

arlene said...

Beautiful. I don't know if I've ever read it stated so poignantly. Your babies truly are works of art by the Master Himself.

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