The Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer

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The Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer was born on May 21, 1471 in Nuremburg.  He was one of about eighteen children, and so, as could be expected, the family was in a bit of a financial crunch.  But Albrecht and his brother, Albert, both dreamed of becoming artists; and though their family was poor, they were determined that it should happen.

The following story is one which some people question to be true, but whether true or false, it is a beautiful story.  Albrecht and Albert agreed to take turns going to the Academy, and while one studied art, the other would work to support his brother financially.  Albrecht won a coin toss, and Albert went to the mines to pay for his brother’s schooling and to look forward to the days when he, too, could receive training to be a great artist.  But in the time that he worked in the mines, Albert’s hands were destroyed.  He would never be able to be an artist; he sacrificed his four years and his entire future as an artist for his brother.

When he completed his schooling, Albrecht sketched his brother’s sacrificial hands as a tribute to the man and all that he had given up so that Albrecht himself could become an artist.

Durer was immensely talented in various media, including engraving, oils, and watercolor.  He was one of the most important artists of the Renaissance.

Below are shown Saint Christopher,  The Expulsion from Paradise,  Durer’s coat of arms,

  

The Bearing of the Cross,  Adam and Eve,  Head of an Old Man,

  

and Adoration of the Trinity.  

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