Moore viewed his fascination with hands and their use as vehicles of expression as belonging to a long artistic tradition: “Throughout the history of sculpture and painting one can find that artists have shown through the hands the feelings they wished to represent.”
At Great Western Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in Glasgow on June 15-16, a 10 x 7in (25 x 18cm) charcoal and ballpoint pen drawing, The Artist’s Hands, sold to an English private buyer at £7000 against a £2000-3000 guide.
The picture, left, which had a label for Dr Max Stern’s Galerie Dominion in Montreal, dated to 1983, a period in Moore’s life when he was suffering from ill health and became preoccupied with his ageing hands. “Hands can convey so much,” he said.
“They can beg or refuse, take or give, be open or clenched, show content or anxiety. They can be young or old, beautiful or deformed.”
Another, marginally larger, work on paper of the artist’s clasped hands dating from the same year sold at Sotheby’s London in 2007 for £21,000.