The hand: it's the body part most constantly visible to painters as they work. Painting: it's one of the most hand-sensitive of all human activities. No wonder painters are drawn to hands. No wonder that hands often steal the scene. In life, faces generally upstage hands. In pictures, hands can have an equal or higher status, as an index of character or expression.
Here are 16 hands by 16 hands. They're all single hands – no praying hands, no holding hands, no modestly folded hands. Left or right, they are hands that debate, that announce, that rise in wonder, that reach out in need or despair, or simply calmly rest. These details all come from European paintings, painted between the 15th and 20th centuries. They are all shown the right way up. Most of the pictures have appeared in the competition before. Some are very famous. Some aren't.
Tell us the names of the paintings and the painters, numbering them 1-16 (the dates or locations aren't required). The sender of the first fully correct entry to be picked at random – or of the most correct entry – wins a case of champagne; a bottle each to the runners-up.
Send answers on a postcard, to arrive no later than 5 January, to Christmas Details, The New Review, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The solutions will be published on 17 JanuaryReuse content