The hands of the brother of Albrecht Durer


You may know the story behind this sixteenth century drawing entitled ‘Praying Hands’. It is said that Albrecht Durer and his brother wanted to become artists, but that their father could not afford to send both to train in Nuremburg. One brother agreed to work in the nearby mines so as to fund his brother Albrecht’s studies and get him established as an artist.  Then, he, too, might go. Albrecht did indeed become a successful artist, but his brother was never able to pursue his own dream. Years in the mine had left him with broken, arthritic fingers. Deeply affected by this sacrifice, Albrecht Durer drew his brother’s work-worn hands in an attitude of prayer.


Prayer, like love, is always costly.