Welcome

About Us

Sacraments/Liturgy

Faith Formation

Get Involved

How Do I?

Calendar

Academy of Our Lady

8-7 Art

logo

ART OF THE MONTH

PRAYING HANDS

PrayingHandsbyAlrechtDurer

ARTIST: ALBRECHT DURER - Biography
BORN: May 21, 1471 in Nuremberg, Germany
DIED: April 6, 1528 in Nuremberg, Germany

It is an image you will see just about everywhere - printed on tee shirts, made into refrigerator magnets and even framed and hanging on someone's bedroom wall. Why is this image so popular? Why do so many people like it? Well, first of all, the hands seem so real, you can see every vein, every wrinkle of these well worn hands. They represent each of us praying for our intentions to God.

But there is more to the story about how this painting came to be....maybe in knowing the story, one gains a greater understanding of the prayers being said....and the reason why Albrecht Durer, the painter, decided to share these praying hands with all of us.

Around 1490, Albrecht Durer and his friend, Franz Knigstein were both struggling artists trying to support themselves while studying art.

One day Franz and Albrecht came to an agreement since neither could work to support their art interests individually, they agreed that one of them would work full time and support the other through art school and once completed, they would reverse roles. They drew straws to determine who would go to school first with Albrecht being the victor!

Albrecht went off to the cities of Europe to study art. Not only was he talented, he was a genius! Once success was achieved, he went back to keep his agreement with Franz. What Albrecht discovered was the enormous price his friend, Franz had paid.  As Franz worked at hard labor to support his friend, his fingers has become stiff and twisted. His slender, sensetive hands had been ruined for life. He could no longer execute the delicate strokes necessary for fine painting.

Though his artistic dreams could never be realized, Franz was not embittered but rather he rejoiced in his friend's success!

One day Albrecht came upon his friend unexpectedly and found him kneeling with his gnarled hands intertwined in prayer, quietly praying for the success Albrecht's artistic abilities, even though he himself would never become an artist himself. Durer hurriedly sketched the folded hands of Franz and later completed a truly great masterpiece known as The Praying Hands.

Today, art galleries around the world feature Albrecht Durer's works. But of them all, none holds the place in the hearts of people that The Praying Hands does. It tells an eloquent story of love, sacrafice, friendship, labor and gratitude.

Franz Knigstein never became an artist - but everyone has been seen the great works of his PRAYING HANDS!

OTHER WORKS BY ALBRECHT DURER:

Durer YoungHare
YOUNG HARE (1502)
Durer StSebastian
ST. SEBASTIAN AT THE COLUMN (1500)
St. Sebastian, who is the Patron Saint of Athletes
was martyred by being tied to a column and then arrows were shot at him until he died.
Durer LamentationOfChrist
LAMENTATION OF CHRIST (Abt 1500)
AlbrechtDurer
SELF PORTRAIT
AT AGE 26 (1500)

 VIEW MORE OF ALBRECHT DURER'S WORK BY CLICKING HERE

weeklybulletin1