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Portrait of a Thrice-thumbed Man

"Portrait of a Thrice-thumbed Man" is copyright    2003 by James G. Mundie. All rights reserved.  Reproduction prohibited.

Pen and ink, 8 x 6 inches, 2003

Polydactylism, having one or more extra fingers or toes, is a fairly common anomaly, but one I've always found fascinating. How strange that the some genetic fluke should cause the duplication of a finger or a toe. As mutations go, this could even have potential benefits. Properly trained and utilized, those extras digits could play complicated piano sonatas, perform intricate card tricks, or throw a mean curve ball. But these days, extra digits are routinely removed in infancy, thereby depriving glovemakers of special commissions.

This portrait was inspired by a photograph of an unknown fellow who was described only as “the best cotton picker around,” which though mundane must have been a source of pride.

The setting was inspired by the gesture of the sitter in Petrus Christus's 1446 portrait of Edward Grimston.

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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2003 - 2018