Skip Navigation

Mano Poderosa (The All-Powerful Hand), or Las Cinco Personas (The Five Persons)

American Art

A lively tradition of provincial Mexican religious art has existed from the Spanish colonial period through the present day. The subject of this devotional image, rendered in the popular medium of painted tin, also appeared in more formal colonial Mexican altar paintings. Perched on the tips of the fingers of a detached hand, Christ appears flanked by his parents and his grandparents, Anna and Joachim. The symbol of the hand, deriving from the European cult of Saint Anne, also bears the wound of the stigmata in reference both to the Crucifixion and to the life of Saint Francis; the seven lambs, drinking here from the chalice of Christ's blood, derive from the Book of Revelations.
MEDIUM Oil on metal (possibly tin-plated iron)
  • Place Made: Mexico
  • DATES 19th century
    DIMENSIONS 13 7/8 x 10 1/16in. (35.2 x 25.6cm) mount (supporting panel): 15 1/8 x 11 x 7/8 in. (38.4 x 27.9 x 2.2 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS American Art
    ACCESSION NUMBER 44.195.24
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1944, Purchased with funds given by the Estate of Warren S.M. Mead
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Mexican. Mano Poderosa (The All-Powerful Hand), or Las Cinco Personas (The Five Persons), 19th century. Oil on metal (possibly tin-plated iron), 13 7/8 x 10 1/16in. (35.2 x 25.6cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1944, Purchased with funds given by the Estate of Warren S.M. Mead, 44.195.24 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 44.195.24_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 44.195.24_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.