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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 drawing, 8 x 6 inches, 2003

Polydactylism, having one or more extra fingers or toes, is a fairly common abnormality, but it is one I've always found fascinating. How strange that the outward manifestation of certain medical conditions is the duplication of a finger or a toe. Among all the possible genetic mutations, this is certainly one of the least disfiguring and may even have potential benefits in feats of manual dexterity. Properly utilized, those extras digits could aid in playing complicated piano sonatas, or throw a mean curve ball. But these days, extra digits are routinely removed in infancy.

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 for this earnest fellow was inspired by the gesture of the sitter in Petrus Christus's 1446 portrait of Edward Grimston.


[To see more drawings from this series, please visit the Prodigies website at missionCREEP.com]


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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2005