Study of a woman’s hands, Leonardo da Vinci; black chalk and metalpoint on paper, roughly 8 x 6 inches (21 x 15 cm). Unique is within the Royal Assortment Belief within the UK; their web site has each zoomable and downloadable variations of the picture. There may be additionally a model on Wikimedia Commons.
The drawing is definitely not of a single pair of palms, however is 2 drawings of crossed palms, with one hand emphasised in every model.
When the outline says “metalpoint”, the most probably precise medium is sliverpoint. Previous to the invention of graphite, artists would ordinarily draw with charcoal, chalks, ink or metalpoint (for the second, leaving apart printmaking). Metalpoint, although costly, was most well-liked for probably the most delicate, exacting drawings.
In silverpoint, the artist attracts with a skinny silver wire, organized in some sort of holder, on specifically ready paper. Over time, the silver traces oxidize to a hotter and extra seen — however nonetheless delicate — line.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some grasp silverpoint drawings (although not this one), and it’s troublesome to convey their subtlety in pictures. The one linework I’ve seen that may be comparable is in etching, whch is finished with a needle.