The Hand of the Violinist
|The Hand of the Violinist (The Rhythms of the Bow)|
|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Subject||The hand of a violinist in play|
|Dimensions||56 cm × 78.3 cm (22 in × 30.8 in)|
|Location||Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London|
The Hand of the Violinist (The Rhythms of the Bow) is a 1912 painting by Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla, depicting a musician's hand and the neck of a violin "made to look like it's vibrating through space"—blurred and duplicated to suggest the motion of frenetic playing. The painting, representative of Futurism's first wave, exhibits techniques of Divisionism.
Balla was inspired to use multiplication to imply motion by the photographic experiments of Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey. As with other Futurists, he was also inspired by Cubism's methods of capturing multiple perspectives; The Hand of the Violinist has been said to bring the viewer "inside the reverberations of the instrument itself", and has earned comparison with Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase.
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