Don’t let the title of this post fool you. This isn’t about Karl Marx or radical politics. No one visits Museworthy for that stuff (although I’ve resisted the urge to rant and vent on these pages a few times). No this is about something far less weighty, and probably much more interesting and engaging.
All my life, I’ve harbored a ridiculous, frivolous, and irrational jealousy (one of many!). This is really stupid, so consider yourselves warned. Are you ready for my stupidity? Ok. I’ve always wished – desperately wished – that I had been born left-handed. When I see someone pick up a pen and begin to write, I become envious when I notice that they are left-handed. See? I told you it was stupid. So how did I develop this fixation? Honestly, I have no idea. I just really dig left-handers.
Maybe it’s because lefties have the whole right brain thing going on. You know, the cool half of the brain. That’s right, I said it! Somebody had to. The magnificence of the right brain includes musical and artistic ability, imagination, spatial awareness, emotional expression. Ooooh, such good stuff! I swear, I was born incorrectly oriented. And to make matters worse, I am really right hand dominant. I can’t do crap with my left hand. I can barely write my name legibly. Now we right-handers have the left brain running the show, and that would be logic, math and science skills, language, and linear awareness. BO-ring!!! :falls asleep, snores:
I realize I’m being childish But I still respect left-handers for their impressive brain functions and their small, exclusive numbers. I think lefties comprise just 9 or 10% of the population. And that is super cool. Very subversive and non-conformist. Has that little “renegade” touch. More men are left-handed than women, and left-handedness is believed to be a hereditary gene. When you think of all the persecution left-handers once endured, back in the superstitious dark ages when they were thought to be heretics and freaks, possessed by demons and evil spirits, they’ve earned outsiders’ thick-skin and street cred. So my message to lefties is this; don’t fret about scissors and coffee mugs or your silly computer mouse. You have many great ones in your camp, and this right-hander and her art blog wants to pay you your due respect. I will even hook my left wrist over my keyboard as I type, in empathetic tribute to your struggles in a right-handed world.
One of the most famously left-handed artists was Raphael. A skilled master. A handsome ladies’ man. A giant of Renaissance art. Not exactly a bad guy for southpaws to claim as one of their own. Hey, I’d be proud. It is said that left-handed artists will often (not always) draw figures which face to the right. And this Raphael drawing is a good example of that:
Leonardo daVinci was a hyper-accomplished polymath and overall genius. Was there anything this guy couldn’t do? DaVinci was left-handed, possibly because he suffered some paralysis in his right hand. Do you think that kind of disablity would stop the guy? No way. Left-handedness in art is most discernible in drawings, specifically in the cross-hatching. In this drawing by Leonardo, Old Men, you can see the left-handedness in the cross-hatching strokes. It’s best observed by clicking on the image twice to enlarge. Beautiful technique and detail:
Michelangelo is placed in the famous left-handers list, but really he was ambidextrous. I imagine that gift would be incredibly advantageous for a sculptor. And in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo did make Adam left-handed, touching the finger of god with his left index finger.
A more true-blue lefty was Hans Holbein the Younger, German artist of the Northern Renaissance:
Dutch draftsman and printmaker Albrecht Durer was another notable left-hander. This is Nude Woman with a Staff, pen and brown ink, 1498, with more observable cross-hatching.
If this display of art hasn’t made the case for left-handed skill and giftedness, I can offer two more words that will silence any lingering doubters: Jimi Hendrix
Rock on Jimi, and lefthanders be proud . . .