February 14, 2013

A Valentine for the Left Handed

Valentine’s Day is here. I hope readers of this post are in receipt of many happy Valentines - or at least one good one. Rather than give my own husband the usual disposable card, I decided to make a custom-made drawing that can be part of his art collection. For this I’ve made a drawing based on an old master’s work. This one is a drawing of Pietro Da Cortona’s (1596 - 1669) “Nymphs Carving Trees.” I decided on this as a valentine because, like my husband, all of the nymphs are left-handed. My theory as to why Pietro Da Cortona drew all the nymphs left-handed is that he could have posed models and used the reflection of a camera obscura to trace them - thereby rendering a mirror image. There are other paintings from the period with left-handed models for this reason.

Nevertheless, my valentine is a lefty. He shares this trait with mostly good company; eight presidents including Barack Obama, Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein and Oprah Winfrey. There were also a host of left-handed conquerors including Alexander the Great, Julius Ceasar, Napoleon and Queen Victoria. And my husband is apparently in good artist stead as well, with such notable left-handed artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein, Paul Klee, Michaelangelo and Raphael. The list goes on, but for those curious enough to know more, a left-handed web site will suffice. I looked at them and was surprised to find out that August 13 is International Left-Handers Day. Do I need to get a gift?

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