Juan Martínez Montañés
Saint Bruno, 1634 · Detail
Carved wood and polychrome
Museum of Fine Arts, Seville, Spain
CONQUERING PALM OF ALI, from the H 1703 Falnama, Iran, Safavid period. 1580s
Roman Bronze Hand of Sabazius, 2nd-3rd century A.D.
Sabazius was an eastern god of fertility and vegetation, who in Roman times was worshiped in association with other deities, particularly Dionysus (or Bacchus, as he was generally known to the Romans). His cult inspired a series of votive images of hands, the fingers of which form the gesture of benediction still familiar in Christian practice.