Pablo Picasso

La Main [The Hand or Arm with Sleeve]

About this artwork

Although Picasso is best known for his work as a painter, he also experimented extensively with sculpture. This bronze cast of a clay model almost certainly depicts the artist’s own right hand. Similarities can be drawn to an earlier self-portrait, painted in 1906, in which he holds a palette with his left hand and loosely clenches his right. Intriguingly, in preparatory drawings Picasso depicted a paintbrush in his right hand. By excluding it in the final painting, the artist gives testament to his belief that his skill as an artist went beyond his tools. Picasso encourages the viewer to contemplate his sculpture, ‘La Main’, it in a similar way by representing his hand with the distinct marks of the maker’s fingers.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    La Main [The Hand or Arm with Sleeve]
  • date created:
    1948
  • materials:
    Bronze (3/10)
  • measurements:
    6.70 x 24.00 x 9.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequeathed by Hannah Gluck 1978
  • accession number:
    GMA 1996
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso