Westside Gallery

Please keep in mind that the poses depicted herein are portraits, not photographs (with a few exceptions) and the position of the hands is not arbitrary but deliberate. Such signals of allegiance can be seen in a great many works of art. Most had their portraits painted only seldom during their lifetimes, sometimes only once. The images are highly symbolic and instrumental towards immortalizing the individuals portrayed therein. These images were planned like a scene out of a commercial. In all actuality, the portraits were done mostly without the subjects’ presence. When they had time, the face would be done, and the rest would be completed by the artist. The hands were drawn ahead of time, in a very certain way.

There are a great many paintings which have a series of coded signals embedded within. Sometimes it was a hollow frame with a note inside (risky,) sometimes the message was painted into the hands and faces and eyes of those who appear in (those who sponsor) the painting. Many have sister paintings which bear an opposite code. This way, spies could pass secrets disguised as artists, merchants, antiquarians, craftsmen, etc. simply by displaying a painting. Those who had eyes to see would get the news early.

The message in the image below reads: “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER” The code was hidden in the direction of their gazes.


Sometimes it was subtle… (note the man in the red sash.[Those three guys look like Henry Oldenburg])


Sometimes, it was blatant.

(from left to right)

“What an idiot.

I’ve run the numbers; it’s all good.

What are you waiting for? [So does that guy.]

Shit or get off the pot, already.

Why won’t he do anything?

This is what must be done.

Do it!”

There are many cultural instances in which the position of the hands and of the eyes are very important in order to infer meaning from them.


There are hidden meanings in some. (The following image is of Harvey Keitel’s hand from Scorsese’s film, ‘Taxi Driver’. Note the eye, the serpant, the pinky nail, and the three-finger sign.)


Hand signals and gang signs are very closely related.


The gang sign presented is the ‘westside,’ ‘triad’, ‘Marrano claw’ or ‘claw hand.’ It is ubiquitous throughout the art of the European royal families and that of their elites. Some families have displayed this symbol during many successive generations right up to the present.

Though based on an earlier physical deformity known as Dupuytren’s Contracture, the gesture became an affectation and a sign of allegiance to a certain European ruling class. Some of the portraits show signs of the disease recognizable through the deformity of the pinky finger. Anne of Austria and Marie de Medici are particularly good examples of this.

1st row: Grand Pensionary, Gaspar Fagel; Christopher Columbus; Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. 2nd row: Grand Pensionary, Johan De Witt; Ignatius of Loyola; Martin Luther; Tupac Shakur.



1st row: Anne of Austria, Queen of France; Sir Nicholas Throckmorton; Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex; Cosimo De Medici. 2nd row: Edward VII; Eric of Sweden; Maurits of Nassau, Prince of Oranje; Adolf Hitler.

The following gallery has been compiled from several sources, but for the most part, was reproduced from the now defunct site pseudoreality.org bearing the title: Marranos Masquerading As Christians

Additions are being made continuously (about 100 more to come) and any further contributions would be welcome.

The captions were attached verbatim, and they are being edited for accuracy and style.

More modern examples…

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton:


Japan’s Emperor Akihito:


Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini:

Enqelab-e Eslami

Incidentally, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher also had Dupuytren’s.

John Podesta (what is scribbled on his hands is not 14 fish, it should read, – one (una) – four – tuna – “Una fortuna” or, ‘a fortune’ in Spanish and Italian. Now, if only we knew what the context of this cryptic message was…)


Finally, Bill Nighy on the glamour still associated with the affliction: