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[teacherartexchange] Illuminated Middle Ages


From: Elizabeth Heisey (elizhiz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Apr 05 2006 - 04:20:49 PDT

You probably already know this symbol, but I didn't.
Yesterday in my art history class we were on and
around p 180 of Gombrich's The Story of Art. 16th
edition, 1995. There is an angel in an illumination on
that page: 'From a Swabian gospel manuscript??'
Anyway, in it, Gabriel has his hand raised and first
two fingers curved a little but mostly extended toward
Mary. This is a hand sign I have seen dozens of times
in Midieval art. I hope you can picture it. I never
knew its meaning. But Gombrich explained the meaning
to me for the first time: 'I am speaking'.
I have of course transfered this useful tool to all my
classes--a hand raised toward them in this certain
traditional way means that I am about to speak. We had
a good laugh but I hope to keep using it.
I found two examples for you, the first one being
exactly like the one from the book.
Beth H

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