While making this painting I was haunted by the line from Shakespeare: Saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch/ And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. This line provided the title for the painting and served as a kind of mantra, summing up the design strand of the choreography of hands. The pilgrim's hands were one of the most carefully designed aspects of the work, and each took as long to create as the entire figure. Awestruck by the vision of the sculpture, the boy reaches out to the handrail for support. The trees flanking the staircase also reach out, but towards the monument, as though lifting laurels to an emperor, palms outstretched. The sculpture itself is centrally defined by the the gesture of its hands, the depicted hero reaching up toward a vision of his own.