The Picture Of The Praying Hands
They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer
won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the
dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother,
whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation.
Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than
those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was
beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.
When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a
festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant
homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music
and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of
the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of
sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition.
His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it
is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I
will take care of you." All heads turned in eager expectation to the
far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale
face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and
repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no."
Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced
down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands
close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother.. I cannot go
to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in
the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been
smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis
so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return
your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with
a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."
More than 475 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durers hundreds of
masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors,
charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum
in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are
familiar with only one of Albrecht Durers works. More than merely
being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging
in your home or office.
One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed,
Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brothers abused hands with palms
together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful
drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened
their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love,
"The Praying Hands."
The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second
look Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one - no
one - ever makes it alone!
--- Author Unknown --- Submitted by Jacquelinemae Rudd