The Praying Hands

The Praying Hands Story

In the fifteenth century, a family with eighteen children lived in a tiny village near Nuremberg. eighteen! Just to keep food on the table for this crowd, the father and head of the family, a jeweler by trade, worked nearly eighteen hours a day in his craft and any other paid job he could find in the area.

Despite the seemingly hopeless condition, the two children of Albrecht Durer Sr. had a dream. They both wanted to use their talent in art, but they knew very well that their father would never be able to financially send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the academy. Finally, we made a contract. They would flip a coin.

The loser went down to the nearby mines and supported his brother with his earnings while he attended the Academy. Then, when the brother who won the drawing of lots finished his studies, four years later he supported the other brother at the academy, either by selling his works of art or, if necessary, also working in the mines. Sunday morning after church.

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Albrecht Dürer won the toss and went to Nuremberg. Albert descended into dangerous mines and for the next four years financed his brother, whose work at the Academy caused an almost immediate sensation.

Albrecht’s etchings, woodcuts, and oil paintings were much better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was earning substantial royalties for his commissioned work. When the young artist returned to his village, the Dürer Family hosted a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht’s triumphant return to his homeland.

After a long and memorable meal interspersed with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his dignified position at the head of the table to toast his beloved brother to the years of sacrifice that allowed Albrecht to fulfill his ambitions. His closing words were: “Now, Albert, my blessed brother, now is your turn.

Now you can go to Nuremberg to fulfill your dream, and I will take care of you. ” All heads turned in eager anticipation to the far end of the table where Albert was sitting, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side. Aside as he sobbed and said over and over again, “No … no … no … no.”

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Finally, Albert got up and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He looked over the long table at the faces he loved, and then, pressing his hands to his right cheek, he said quietly: “No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It’s too late for me.

Look … Look what four years in the mines did to my hands! The bones in every finger have been broken at least once, and lately, I’ve been suffering so much from arthritis in my right hand that I can’t even hold a glass to answer your toast, let alone draw graceful lines on parchment with a pen or canvas. Or Brush.

No, brother… It’s too late for me. ” More than 450 years have passed. By now, hundreds of masterful portraits of Albrecht Dürer, pen and silver needle sketches, watercolors, charcoal, woodcuts, and copper prints hang in every major museum in the world, but chances are good that you, like most people, are familiar with them. Only one of the works of Albrecht Durer. Moreover, just by being familiar with it, you may well have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

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One day, to pay tribute to Albert for everything he sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly painted his brother’s tortured hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched out towards the sky. He called his powerful drawing simply “Hands”, but the whole world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love to “Praying Hands.”

Next time you see a copy of this touching creation, take another look. Let this be your reminder, if you still need it, that no one – no one – will ever do it alone!

The Praying Hands Moral

Remember: it is not the burden of life that weighs us down; This is how we handle them.

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