The Story of the Praying Hands

For years people have admired the art masterpiece known as "The Praying Hands". Behind this work of art is a fascinating story of love and sacrifice.

In the late fifteenth century two struggling young art students, Albrecht Durer and Franz Knigstein, worked as labourers to earn money for their art studies. But the work was long and hard and it left them little time to study art.

Finally they agreed to draw lots and let the loser support the both while the winner continued to study. Albrecht won, but he agreed to support Franz after achieving success so his friend could finish his studies.

After becoming successful, Albrecht sought out Franz to keep his bargain. But he soon discovered the enormous sacrifice his friend had made. As Franz had worked at hard labour, his fingers had become twisted and stiff. His long, slender fingers and sensitive hands had been ruined for life. He could no longer manage the delicate brush strokes so necessary for executing fine paintings. But in spite of the price he had paid, Franz was not bitter. He was happy that his friend Albrecht had attained success.

One day Albrecht saw his loyal friend kneeling, his rough hands entwined in silent prayer. Albrecht quickly sketched the hands, later using the rough sketch to create his masterpiece known as "The Praying Hands".

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