The Body of the King (Hands) (Cloisters)

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Gilt, gold and alone, the spiritual body of the king levitates up the white space of the museum wall. The severed hands contradict the seamless line created by the brow and nose between and over the rouge cheeks and lips, and the king’s dimpled chin. They add to the violence of the figure’s impression much more than any emblem of temporal power that the king might have otherwise carried. Without hands, the disfigured spiritual authority of the king, bloody stumps, looks absolutely gruesome if you look at it closely.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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